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Who, not what

"Aah...this is the GOOD life!" We are perhaps kicking back on the beach, enjoying the rays, listening to the palm fronds rattling in the wind, and then we utter these words of absolute contentment! The next thing you know, a gust of wind blows away your umbrella, a happy-go-lucky child throws sand on you, and the sun drifts behind the clouds! What happened to your "contentment" in that moment? Ummm....honestly....it was no longer the "good life"! The days of good old conversation and peaceful repose with an aging parent turn into helping them make daily decisions, take their showers, and ensuring their safety at every turn. Yep, the 'good life' is kind of missed in those moments, isn't it? There are lots of things that change our 'good life' concept - from sudden gusts of wind to changing needs of those around us. When the 'good life' morphs, are we ready?

Even though a person sins and gets by with it hundreds of times throughout a long life, I'm still convinced that the good life is reserved for the person who fears God, who lives reverently in his presence, and that the evil person will not experience a "good" life. No matter how many days he lives, they'll all be as flat and colorless as a shadow—because he doesn't fear God. (Ecclesiastes 8:12-13)

Our impression of what a "good life" really is can oftentimes be the issue, not the 'events' of life itself. We get our focus a little misdirected at times - giving us a warped perception of reality. You see, the wind was always there, the clouds were passing over as we uttered those words of contentment, and the child had been working on that sand castle for hours! The parent was aging all along, getting weaker each day, and hidden disease was always at work. We just failed to see what was right before our eyes! Perception often determines reality in our minds! A lifestyle of sin is easily observed when it is pitted against a lifestyle of reverence for God. The "good life" is really based on something entirely different than we often imagine. In fact, rarely do I hear anyone describe the good life as serving God first, being less focused on self, and being an obedient steward of the grace God has given in their life! Yet, it is not what we "get by with" in life that makes life great - it is in the fact that we get "nearer" to God that makes it truly great! In fact, a life without God is "colorless as a shadow" and "flat"!

It takes the sun to cast a shadow! The more "face-on" you are to the sun, the longer your shadow. Let me make this clear - the more face-on you are to the Son of God (Jesus), the longer the shadow his grace will cast in your life! You begin to reflect his greatness in your life! It takes the light to realize the "color" in our world. In the darkness, color is really meaningless. You can be standing smack-dab in the middle of a room filled with vividly painted walls, richly adorned furnishings in dynamic colors of the rainbow, but without the light in the room, those colors mean nothing! It takes the "Light of Life" (Christ) to fill our days with color. We may "think" we get by with stuff (not always good stuff either), perhaps hundred of times, but nothing escapes God's view. Even though we don't "get caught" in our sin, he knows it is still there. There is nothing we can hide from him. Want color and light in your life - get honest with God and then enjoy the Son-shine! Don't let the stuff that is right there in front of your eyes to escape your view, or your appreciation! The good life is more about 'who' is in our lives, not 'what' is in it! Just sayin!

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