Sunday Sheep Ponderings – October 9,2016

Pondering today on “Life BEFORE death”. In the denomination I was raised in, most of the focus was on getting people “saved” from a place called “hell”. Most messages from the pulpit focused on “life AFTER death”. I have done much pondering on all of that but today I’m pondering on life in the here and now. 
“Life” was what Jesus was all about! Life in the now was His priority! Jesus said things like, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly”.  
So are you experiencing life abundantly? Or are you barely getting by? 
I remember a season of my life that was crazy! I had 5 kids, ages 7 and under, my hubby traveled most of the time, our finances were stretched as thin as they could get, and I was a perfectionist. The perfect storm. I was very active in our church, led a Bible study, was part of a scripture memory group and strictly listened to Christian music and read Christian books. You would think with all that “Christian” stuff I was feeding on, that my life would have been abundant, peaceful, joyful and compassionate but it was far from it. My life was a constant treadmill of striving. Striving to balance all the demands of home while striving to be a good “Christian”. Truth be told, I was dying inside. 
Fast forward to today. I still have 5 kids and they are much older and less physically demanding. But for anyone who has older children, you know the challenges can be much harder and with much greater consequences. We still have financial strain with several kids in college and private school. But instead of slowly dying inside, I am FULLY ALIVE, filled with peace, joy, love for myself and everyone around me. 
How did I get to this abundant life? 
I finally let go of striving. I let go of trying to “be” a good Christian. I let go of judging myself and everyone around me. I let go of a god that others had created in their image. I let go of seeing scripture through denominational and religious lenses. (Anyone singing “let it go” in their head yet?)
I let God speak to my heart directly. I listened as He poured out UNCONDITIONAL LOVE on me. I melted into His arms of ACCEPTANCE. I let HIM teach me. I listened, pondered and I came alive! I woke up and realized a bunch of the religious crap I had been clinging to was suffocating me. I let God love me. His love has overtaken death and brought life…just like He said. 
So my hope for you, my friends, is that “you may have LIFE and have it abundantly!” If the god you are clinging to is not bringing abundant life, maybe, just maybe, you need to let go of that god. Happy Sunday! 

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