05. What Is Abundant Life?

I had my first carousel ride on a school field trip to Greenfield Village when I was eleven.

I remember listening to the happy music and gripping the pole in front of me, grinning hugely the whole time. I wasn’t ready to get off when the ride stopped, and I still hope I can have another ride someday.

Life is rather like a carousel. I want to jump on and take a ride on every pretty horse on the happy singing machine. So many exciting things wait out there wanting to be discovered and enjoyed that it sometimes makes me breathless, knowing I can never do and see and taste and touch everything I’d like to.

Don’t wait for abundant life to come to you. It’s waiting for you to catch up with it!

However, if you’re watching life’s carousel and it looks far too bright and gaudy and noisy for you to even want to hop on, that’s okay. Or maybe you feel you’re on it, but it’s shaded in grays, and playing minors; and you’re not smiling.

Sometimes life slides onto you like an avalanche, and you feel buried and smothered. Other times, you find yourself in an emotional recovery room after open heart surgery with all your insides laid bare and cut and bleeding. The idea of boarding a carousel sounds ludicrous and even painful.

Go ahead and rest. Don’t feel pressured to run and hop onto the carousel your friends are enjoying. People recovering from avalanches and surgeries need time to rest and heal. If you ask Him, the Great Physician will heal you and give you strength to climb onto one of those happy pink horses. Someday you will grin again.

Meanwhile, you can look for God’s rays of abundance because they really are there, even in the not-so-pleasant parts of your days.

No Formula Available

For most of my life, I’ve been looking for a neat, tidy outline to regulate my soul, keep me safe, and make me smiley all the time. I wish I could figure out exactly how to find abundant life. I wish there’d be a formula to follow. Just when I discover several good points that seem to guarantee abundance, they all run together into a confusing mass of questions.

I’ve asked many people, read scores of good books, and listened to countless sermons. Still no formula, still no tidy package to live by or to give away.

However, I have an infallible Guidebook.

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