Don't Be a Part of the Living Dead
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."1
Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-famous architect, tells how a lecture he received at the age of nine helped set his philosophy of life. An uncle, a stolid, no-nonsense type, had taken him for a long walk across a snow-covered field. At the far side, his uncle told him to look back at their two sets of tracks. "See, my boy," he said, "how your footprints go aimlessly back and forth from those trees, to the cattle, back to the fence then over there where you were throwing sticks? But notice how my path comes straight across, directly to my goal. You should never forget this lesson!" "And I never did," Wright said. "I determined right then not to miss most things in life as my uncle had."2
To experience the wonders of life we need to be in touch with all of our God-given emotions—including the emotion of wonder. "Life without emotions," said one humorist, "would be like playing a trombone with a stuck slide," which of course would be dreadfully monotonous and boring. The same is true when one's emotion of wonder is repressed, the effects of which are to be characteristically bored with life.
Emotions are God-given. They are a vital part of living a life with vitality, joy and wonderment. So learn to enjoy the emotion of wonder. Learn to let your hair down more often. Have fun. Hang loose. Go with the flow. Plant a tree. Write a poem. Draw with your non-dominant hand. Tell your spouse and kids how much you love them … tell them now and tell them often. Get out of your ruts. Do something different. Stretch your imagination. Step out of your comfort zone.
As Robert Frost said in his poem, "Road Less Traveled," "I shall be telling this with a sigh / Somewhere ages and ages hence / Two roads diverged in a wood / And I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference."
And by the way, being in touch with all of your God-given emotions and using them as God intended is a vital part of being whole and living the abundant life Jesus spoke about. It's also being authentic. Repressed people are a part of the living dead.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be in touch with all of my God-given emotions and use them as you intended. Help me to be authentic and free, and an open channel through whom your love can freely flow. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV).
2. Gary Swanson, "Living in a Powder Keg," Focus on the Family, Sept. 1992, p. 14.