This month and the next, we in our family are full of birthdays, five in all! The only one out is in April, and we make sure it is well celebrated. We never planned it this way, and by the time it gets to Christmas, I am broke!!
I do believe that one of our greatest gifts is the day we are born. Nothing compares to that event. I remember one of my first birthdays; I don’t know how old I was, but I remember my mum vaguely, my granny and my sister covered in chocolate.
The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time to be born! This time concept is a powerful one. We are bound by time, and perhaps if you are like me, you realise that we don’t have much of it.
My dad is 81 years old, and in a recent conversation I had with him, he told me how much he wants to be with The Lord. I understand him, especially as he misses my mum, who passed away at 69, six years ago. I told him that although he desires to be with The Lord, we are blessed to have him with us. We all know that he is on extra time, and I told him so. He understood the metaphor, he played football for most of his life.
Yet, I am also painfully aware of families close to me who will never have the blessing of seeing their loved ones growing old, where life was cut short through illness, an accident, and the unbearable pain and suffering.
So, what are we to make of the Christian life that should be lived to the fullness? I am becoming wearier, not cynical (I believe there should be no cynicism in the body of Christ) about a populist, light, biblical understanding of our identity in Christ and elevating the experiential over Biblical thoughts. We need to interpret our experiences in light of the Word of God, and the Word of God guide us through our experiences.
Fullness is such a powerful word; it is hard to define and even hard to describe it. Where does it start? Where does it end? When applied in a biblical sense, it can open a world where we are invited to explore God even if we can only see him partially, as Paul reminds us in 1st Corinthians 13.
Where is that fullness found? It is not found in the past or even in the future. But it is in the now, in the reality of our present time. We need to get hold of this current reality: of the now-fullness. I am tired of hearing that we will only experience the fullness of God in heaven. Yes, I do believe the time will come when we will see the fullness of God when we meet him face to face. But what about now? This present now-reality should encourage us to seek the presence of the Lord.
Emma Raducano knows how to live in the moment. After being crowned champion of the USA Tennis Open, live on TV was asked: How do you cope with the pressure? She said: “I stay in the moment” Tim Henman, former British number one, said that “being in the moment means playing one point at a time! So don’t be thinking about the next point or the one you lost. Stay present.”
Our lives are a series of moments within a timeframe! The fullness of God is to be practised. It is to be nurtured. It is to be lived in love. The fullness of God lives in us now! It is not just for eternity. It is for this present reality. It is as real as I am writing this now.
Paul understood this when he said:
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.” (Col. 2:9-10 NIV)
We don’t have to ask anymore for the fullness of God because it is already in us. It was given to us by Christ. So, we share in His fullness! What we should be asking is this: Lord, let your fullness in me overflow!
My dad is 81. He is living in extra time. For us, this is our moment with him. He still has time to live in the fullness of the Lord, and we are invited to do the same.
This month is going to be an expensive one, so many birthdays! You know, I can complain all I want, and I don’t know if you care! All I know is that these moments ARE PRICELESS; these birthdays changed my life!
Dario is a husband, father, pastor and passionate pursuer of Jesus and His Kingdom. He is a Pastor, loyal friend, and walks the walk when it comes to being a carrier of God’s presence. He expects things to happen when he prays for people. He loves having fun and eating olives (preferably at the same time).