This is not intended to be another one of those “if you try harder you can have a better life” kind of blogs. I have little energy to spare as it is and the idea of trying harder makes me want to take a nap! If you are anything like me, my mind is consumed enough with to-do lists, present troubles, and future worries to leave little room for thinking about how to really live well. I’m just running from day to day trying to survive and keep all the balls in the air.
But if I’m going to spend energy and run around like a crazy person, I want it to count. I want my life to matter. I want to know that at the end of the day all my effort will make a difference for me, my spouse, my family…for someone. Otherwise, what’s the point? The idea that my time, thought, energy, effort, and planning could actually be in vain can keep me up at night. Am I really making a difference?
All these worries, fears, and the day to day grind of life got me thinking about the idea of living well. No, that’s not even completely accurate. More like, when my life started spinning out of control it got my attention and made me re-evaluate how I was living. You can read more about my story here. When my health decided it was going to completely jump ship, my life became a wreck. For those of you who have gone through something similar, you know that battling disease can threaten every hope, dream, and expectation of how things will be and is no small matter.
However, it’s the chaotic, hectic, frustrating, and just plain difficult moments that really count. In these moments you discover who you really are. And how you respond when you’re enduring difficulty and chaos will determine who you will become. I believe this is why God allows times like these in our lives. To shape us, to teach us, to prepare us for the future, and ultimately to glorify Him. If that’s true, then how we handle these difficult moments really matters.
Which brings me back to living well. To me, living well doesn’t mean exerting more energy or trying harder to become more organized, healthy, loving, faithful, or a better version of myself. I’m discovering that living well has more to do with how I respond to situations when life gets hard.
Take worrying, for example. I am an expert at worry. I come from a long generational line of worry warts and could compete with the best of them when it comes to anxiety and stress. Perhaps hard circumstances warrant some worrying, and most of us wouldn’t fault each other for doing so. But maybe if I took the energy I spent on stressing and worrying about all the “what if’s”, and focused instead on using that energy to practically do what I can about the issue causing me stress, I would be more at peace and have the satisfaction of knowing I did my best with what was within my control. Responding this way instead of worrying is a way I can live well despite my circumstances.
Living well in spite of whatever circumstance I find myself requires me to renew my perspective, adjust my response, allthewhile trusting God with the outcome. This way of living can apply to all areas of life including marriage, parenting, health, faith, work, and friendships.
So how do we live well? One day at a time, making the little moments count. Knowing that one life lived well not only provides peace, fulfillment, and purpose, but can also impact many other lives for years to come.