It was a pretty normal week for me.
Some good work - both at home and at church.
Saw some good friends, spent good time with my husband, connected with each of my kids.
Enjoyed that spring was finally having its day in the sun, so to speak.
And I was faced with choices - daily, small, ordinary choices - about how I was going to choose to behave.
Should I ask that person how they are doing, or turn away because I am in a hurry?
Should I take an extra 5 minutes to greet a neighbor, or rush inside?
Should I call that family member or put it off?
Should I write that little note of appreciation or assume my friend knows how I feel?
And I don't know about you, but I often don't choose to do the right thing. I just don't. I take the out. I choose the lazy path. I procrastinate. I make an excuse based on all kinds of things - my personality, my schedule, my "freedom in Christ." You know ...
But lately, I've experienced an epiphany of sorts.
When I choose the lazy path, the out, the excuse ... I feel small. I feel a sense of disappointment; a sadness that lingers.
But when I choose the act of kindness, the extra moment to express care or concern or simple neighborliness, when I make the phone call, write the note, give the hug, I feel alive, buoyant, joyful. It's like a fresh wind blows through my spirit for a moment.
And I started to wonder - Is this part of what Jesus means when he talks about the abundant life?
I mean, I CAN choose to be petty, small, indifferent, narrow, closed-off. I can. I live by grace, not by law.
But those are not the ways Jesus wants me to live.
However, if I choose, in my freedom, to live in ways Jesus taught me to live, a small breeze of abundance seems to float into my life.
I stumbled across this idea this winter in Ronald Rolheiser's classic book Sacred Fire. Listen to how he summarizes it:
"When we act like God, we get to feel like God.
Conversely, when we are petty, we get to feel petty.
There is a clear cause and effect here: when we do big-hearted things, we get to feel big-hearted; and when we do small-hearted things, we get to feel small."
This is powerful, life-changing truth, friends.
The abundant life may not be "out there" at all; it may be right here, in our next daily choice.
Make the kind, grace-filled, merciful choice next time ... and watch for the breeze of the Spirit to blow.