i’ve had a book about Hope percolating in me for almost five years. i’ve had a publishing contract for the book since last summer. i finished a draft of it about 6 weeks ago and sent it off to 6 readers (including two “theological readers”). last week i spent 3 days in the desert making corrections and tweaks based on feedback from the readers. and on saturday, i sent it off to the publisher. even if the book only sells three copies (me, my wife and my mom), this was a major deal for me, writing a book that expresses something deep from my soul, and not just my head.
here’s a tiny snippet from the last chapter…
The Best Life
The age-old existential question that has haunted philosophers and college sophomores for a very long time, is some version of “Why am I here?” Jesus gives us some fodder for consideration in what has become my favorite Bible verse:
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)
Remember: When Jesus says “they” in this verse, he’s talking about you.
Contrary to what one might assume by observing Christians in America, Jesus did not say:
- I have come that you may get into heaven.
- I have come that you may leave this lousy place one day in the future.
- I have come that you may get serious about religion, finally.
- I have come that you may experience your ship coming in.
- I have come that you may know who’s “in” and who’s “out.”
- I have come that you may stop disgusting me so much.
It’s a pretty revolutionary promise, really. Jesus wants you to experience a full life. That’s his verbatim explanation for his time on earth.
Why are you here? To have a full life.
So, what’s a full life, then?
I’m convinced, from scripture, observation of hopeful people, and my own experience, that a fullness of life burns most hot when I follow in the footsteps of Jesus and give my life away, bringing Hope to the hopeless.
As my more self-focused longings are filled with the pigment of Hope, they start to shift. Since Hope and longing are dancing the Tango, a shift in one shifts the other. My Hope increases, and my longings turn outward. My longings shift and my Hope needs a power boost.
This is the full life. This is the life we were invented for. This is God’s dream for you, a continual broadening of your longings and increase of Hope, put into action.