< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Stay Alive All Your Life - Part 5

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stay Alive All Your Life - Part 5

Chapter 6 You can have the life you want

“When your interest and appreciation include the whole great world, life becomes even more fascinating. The more vital your interest; in others and in the world, the more triumphantly you can live.”

Dr. Peale says if people stop and think about it, they all want a life that is full and gives them a sense of well-being. Satisfaction from creating something, giving something, doing something. Full of energy, freedom and growth. But of course a lot of people don’t have that. They’re filled with gloom and apprehension. They suffer discouragement and have no vitality. They’re lethargic and it’s not the way we’re supposed to live. We’re supposed to be fully alive.

Our spirit stays alive forever. No matter what our age we can eagerly look forward to each day. Christianity is outgoing: helping others, being interested in others. It’s not self-absorbed. Self-centeredness and over preoccupation cause you to retreat from dynamic living.

When you do something for someone else you almost immediately feel better. Think about doing something for another person every single day or a couple times a day!

Dr. Peale said we should take pleasure in everything we do. If it’s a job or whatever we should “practice liking it.” Enthusiasm and eagerness can make any job or task thrilling! Love what you do and where you are. If you don’t love it – learn to love it! See the possibilities. Wake up in the morning and tell yourself you have a great job, life and family. Cultivate a lot of interests.

You’ll begin to find there aren’t enough hours in your day! I remember as a kid going through stages of interests. Lots of time it depended on what we were studying in school, but I’d go and collect arm loads of books from the library, on: Indians, insects, Greek Mythology, Art History… Even now it’s: nutrition, fitness, Christianity, positive living. You’ll never run out of things to be interested in in this world!

Chapter 7 Stop Being Tired – Live Energetically

Dr. Peale says if your thoughts are hopeful, confident, positive and full of goodwill, you will have a constant flow of energy. Our universe is charged with renewable energy. It makes sense that we are too. If we let the cares, difficulties and trouble of the world invade our minds we will be tired and weary and old before our time. Dr. Peale says the cure is to re-fresh and re-stimulate your thoughts. One simple way is to repeat a familiar Bible passage to yourself a half dozen times a day. Maybe:

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Exodus 33:14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

I’ve always had problems with a Dr. telling someone with a terminal illness they had x amount of time to live because the mind is so powerful, if the person focused on that they probably will live only that long. In the same way, we are told to expect at a certain age to slow down. That we’ll have aches and pains. That’s not going to happen to 100% of the people so there’s no reason we can’t be the ones who it doesn’t happen to!

It’s never too late to adjust ourselves to God’s pace and tempo. To synchronize our thinking and living with God’s unhurried timing. God lives in us and if we go one speed and God another – it just doesn’t work!

God gave us nature: a beautiful world to enjoy. To stop and get out in as a break from our work and responsibilities. He gave us Sundays “off”. He means for us to have a balance in our lives. To work, but to rest and enjoy beautiful things too. That renews us.

Most tiredness originates in the mind. When you’re tempted to say, “I’m so weary. I have so much to do. I’m so worn out.” Don’t! You’re just feeding the negativity. Fatigue is not caused by work, but what we think of as overwork. Or dull work.

We can drag ourselves in from a day of hard work and feel totally beat, but then someone suggests doing something that sounds really fun or interesting and suddenly we have energy to spare!

Dr. Peale says we should hold the belief that since God created us, He is constantly re-creating us as well. Acts 17:28 says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” We actually live in His vast energy.

So think alive thoughts. Keep a healthy lifestyle. Empty your mind of negative “tired” thoughts and fill it with positive and spiritual thoughts!

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