When making hard decisions, I like to consider which option yields the bigger life—which option ultimately brings greater happiness. The bigger life for me is most often centered around connection, creating, and being the hands and feet of Jesus.
1. Choose Connection
Connection, not isolation, always yields the bigger life. We weren’t meant to live in isolation. Ask anyone who struggled with the recent quarantines how difficult it was to remain in isolation. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Staying in is the new going out.” Or this one: “Because it doesn’t get better than staying home.” I, too, have joined the masses in the glorification of staying home.
Although I’ve said these things and shared the memes, I understand that blessings come from being with people of like faith.
The bigger life for me is most often centered around connection, creating, and being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Ask Ruth. Ask Naomi. They traveled far to find connection. They could no longer live in isolation away from the people of God. Consider the blessings that ensued in their lives, and the shout out they received in the gospel of Matthew.
How I am finding the bigger life through connection: I attend conferences and singles’ gatherings (mostly online these days)—a Caribbean cruise was one of my favorite singles’ events. I go on mission trips whenever possible. My ministry in Scotland and Spain hold precious memories and God moments for me. On a smaller scale, I choose connection over isolation by being with friends and family regularly, connecting often via Zoom when we can’t gather in person.
I’ll be straight: creating is hard work, but I love having created something. Creating takes a lot of brain power, but what I’ve found most often, creating is about consistency and showing up to your work. So, I’m here to say, write that story. Write that song—the charge went out at NAYC to Apostolic artists, remember? Study Spoken Word poetry and then perform it at your church or in a youth class.
Here’s the thing: your creativity looks different from mine, and much different than I can even imagine for you on this page. I know this: God is calling you to be like Him, even in His creativity. He created entire worlds out of nothing. So, go create something out of nothing and you, too, will reap benefits and blessings.
How I am finding the bigger life through creating: I write. You see, Jesus stands at my door and knocks; I open the door and inspiration floods the room. It is for this reason I sit daily at the keyboard with my word processor open and my hands on the keyboard. I’ve learned that if I show up to my creativity, God does too.Jesus stands at my door and knocks; I open the door and inspiration floods the room. It is for this reason I sit daily at the keyboard with my word processor open and my hands on the keyboard. Click To Tweet
3. Be God’s Hands and Feet
When I think of being God’s hands and feet, I think of Matthew 25:43: “I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” If you lack ideas, start with this Scripture.
Start a class and teach from your unique experiences. Invite friends to Zoom in.
Start a class and teach from your unique experiences. Invite friends to Zoom in. If you lack ideas, talk with your pastor. He might be praying for someone for a specific ministry. Maybe you are that person he/she is praying for. Whatever we can do as the body of Christ to tap into the idea of “greater works than these will [you] do,”—those are the things we should be doing. (See John 14:12.) Pray and ask God how you can make a difference in the kingdom of God.
How I am finding the bigger life through being God’s hands and feet: I teach recovery classes at my church (currently online). Helping someone else along their journey is a happiness booster for me. I also facilitate online discussions with friends about strengthening relationships with our adult children. If I can’t figure out a subject out on my own, I include friends and mentors. Always.
It’s easy to be God’s hands and feet these days.
And that’s it—three ideas for creating a happier life. For me the bigger life inevitably centers around ministry: choosing connection over isolation, creating, and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Decisions become easier when we consider the bigger life.
Whatever we can do as the body of Christ to tap into the idea of “greater works than these will [you] do,”—this is what we should be doing.
Paula Nilsen is a writer and author. She is an advocate for abundant living and is a certified life coach, equipping people to deal with loss and to overcome adversity. She loves spending time with her adult children. To read more by Paula Nilsen, click here.
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