Some friends of mine and I were given the powerful assignment of sitting down and writing a letter to God explaining to Him the life we want most for ourselves. In my humble opinion, it is an exercise that everyone should do often. Here is mine:
The life I want most for myself is Christ’s.
I want a life of peaceful intensity. Intense because of a missionary spirit that relentlessly takes me into difficult circumstances in the name of love. Peaceful because of an intimacy with you so stable and real that those difficult circumstances can’t shake it.
I want every decision of my life to be motivated and explained by love, healing, and freedom, and every action to help inspire those things in others. I want to be a man of harnessed passion, who walks gratefully and confidently with God and people, creating true transforming community wherever I go.
I want this life with Christ to be so authentic that those closest to me, Carrie, Shade, Callie, and Jakin know it to be real and weighty. And I want its abundance to be so obvious that they are effortlessly drawn to it, constantly challenged to believe it, emboldened to give it a try, and naturally disgusted by anything the world offers, with all of it’s glitter, that is less.
While living inwardly for an eternal Kingdom, I want to be a good steward of my body while I live for that Kingdom here, maintaining the health and fitness required to live this adventurous life over the long haul, using as my target and goal the physical and mental ability to keep up with grandkids, should I be so blessed.
I want what I love about Carrie to always dictate how I see and treat her. I love her fire and vulnerability, her commitment to godly and thoughtful motherhood, and her non-stop energy for God and people. I want a partnership with her that is alive, connected, fun, open, passionate, raw, real, and respectful. I want us to take and be mutually supportive of our adventurous and faith-testing experiments – and I want us to take them often, sometimes independent of each other, sometimes in partnership. I want us to be unafraid of what makes each of us unique and challenging to the other, eagerly receiving those things from each other for our own growth in Christ, gratefully and joyfully embracing the mess of it all. Above all, I want Carrie to experience that hers is simply and unquestionably the most important human relationship in my life because I act accordingly at all times.
I want to be an embracing, exalting, playful, teaching, and uplifting Dad for my kids. I love Shade’s passion and zeal, his inclination towards truth and people, and want to partner with him to channel his energy as he creates a life of meaning and purpose. I love Callie’s competence and strength, her sense of creativity and laughter, and I want to give her both her space and my presence, within which she can have both her freedom and my guidance, to be and become the force of beauty that God has created her to be. And I love Jakin’s depth and humor, his light playfulness and deep inquiries, and I want to listen closely for his soul as he continues to show up and coach me on how to best serve him as he grows into his greatness.
I want to be an invitation to family for my Dad, Mom, and brothers and their families, and allow them to be that invitation to me. I want us all to be thankful and proud from where we have come from, and with whom we have come, a family of true believers in forgiveness, redemption, and the intentional, designing hand of God.
I want my life to be a model of the God-centered, Christ-like, Spirit-enabled way of living. I want it to be counter-cultural enough to be both noticeable and tempting for anyone in the world who is hungry, hurting, burned, or just plain sick-and-tired of mediocrity. I want my words, my work, my relationships, my dreams, my plans, my commitments, my decisions, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, my reactions, my demeanor, my devotions, my prayers, my spaces, my priorities, my travels – and anything else that can appropriately go after the word “my” – to live in perfect harmony with one another, never competing with each other because they all humbly serve and exalt the same irresistible master.
I want a life that finds happiness only in you and in the loving relationships that are from you. And I want a life that is an invitation to, an inspiration for, and a catalyst of this abundant way of life for anyone who volunteers into any little piece of mine.
I want Christ’s life.