Live Your Life in 2016

       As we start a new year, I want to challenge you to live your life. That might seem obvious, but it is not as common as you might think. For example, people tend to live in the past, the future, or vicariously.
       Living in the past involves the constant interruption of your daily routines with negative memories of past. Simple things tend to trigger flashbacks that leave you frozen in your tracks. This can be a normal reaction after a traumatic experience. However, these repetitious interruptions might also be the result of not finding healing. If that sounds like you, seek the help of a great counselor and let this new year be the year you stop living in the past.
     Others live in the future. They are always waiting for that next season of life. One example might be a mom of small children that is longing for the day when the children can do more for themselves – so much so that she misses the joys of the present. Another example would be the guy at work that is always thinking about moving up the corporate ladder. He is always daydreaming about higher leadership roles instead of giving his all in his current position.
       The final area that is the most concerning to me involves vicarious living. Have you ever wondered why people are so interested in celebrities? Perhaps it is because people can live the rich and famous life of a celebrity vicariously every time they watch celebrity interviews on TV or read updates online.
       I also see the availability of the internet shifting culture away from meaningful interactions. Why live your life when you can live a more polished version on social media? Why live your life when you can join the nearly one million other users each month online with a virtual avatar in “Second Life Land?”
       God has not called you to live in the past, the future, or someone else’s life. He doesn’t want you living a second rate version of your life either. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b). This new year, live your life fully in Christ. Perhaps it’s time to see a counselor and start finding healing from past. Perhaps it’s time to be more content and stop striving for what lies ahead. Perhaps it’s time stop looking at phone and TV screens so often and venture out into public spaces. Live your life in 2016.