How Do We Want to Live?
How do you want to live your life? Can you even answer that question without immediately thinking of a particular vocation? Our minds often revert to simple work-based thinking when we consider how to live our lives. But we are so much more than just our work!
What if, instead of merely thinking of what we want to do with our lives, we began to consider how we want to live our lives?
Do you know the difference?
A Mindset Shift
Thinking only about what we want to do is often focused on us, centering around our work or what we spend the majority of our time doing. Of course, there's nothing wrong with taking pride in our work and contributing to worthwhile things. But there's more to our lives than just the titles we acquire or the shoes we fill.
I was reading an article about how we, as privileged Americans, often think we can solve all the world's problems through our heroic actions-- going on mission trips, serving others, and (although not mentioned in the article) throwing money at them. While helping others and contributing to worthy causes are fantastic things, those aren't the only ways we can impact our world.
They aren't the easiest, and they might not even be the most impactful. If we truly want to make a difference and live meaningful lives that make the world a better place, it comes down to more than just what we do with our lives. It starts with how we live them.
Do we rush through our days, counting down the minutes until we can camp out on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and our favorite show queued up?
Do we resent any and all interruptions in our days and schedules because we're so intent on checking off all the things on our to-do lists?
Are we approachable or closed-off? Do we come across as open, loving, compassionate, and considerate? Or are we known more for our rushing, close-mindedness, selfishness, savior complex, and judgment?
What if we let our lives do the talking?
At Experience Mission, we often challenge mission trip team members to slow down as they enter a new community and culture and ask the question, “How am I going to live?” This question shifts the focus from going and doing and documenting and leaving, and instead challenges us to press pause—to slow down and enjoy everyday moments with the people we meet. When we set our to-do list aside, we start to love people better.
What That Looks Like
Now, I've talked a little bit about missional living, in which you live your whole life on mission for God-- meaning that you live every day to love and serve others in order to point them toward a relationship with God and glorify Him. It's not a to-do list. It's not a one-and-done conversation with a stranger.
It's coming alongside people, living life with them, meeting them wherever they're at, and being their friend. It's not our job to fix people. It's our job to love them. No matter what our jobs and titles might be, that's how we're called to live our lives.
So how do you want to live your life? I'd love to hear from you in the comments! And if you're interested in living a meaningful life that has the power to make the world a better place, join my FREE 7-day From Surviving to Thriving Challenge!
The Surprising Way You Can Actually Change the World by Heather Reynolds, Relevant Magazine