Living Bigger

“I think I ruined my friend’s retirement plan,” the speaker joked.   “My friend had been aggressively planning for the day when he could quit his job and do nothing but play golf.  Now, I love golf.  But how much golf can you actually play?  I decided to challenge his plan.  So, when you get to Heaven, are you really going to say,  Hey look, God, here are my score cards; Hey look, God, did you see my birdies?”

The speaker shared this anecdote in the context of encouraging marriage partners to pursue activities bigger than themselves – in the manner of Roselyn and Jimmy Carter wielding hammers for Habitat for Humanity.

But it got me thinking beyond the enhancement of my marriage.

What will I show God at heaven’s door?   Hey look, God, here’s my lipstick collection?  By the way, did you see my pickleball prowess?   

Now there’s nothing wrong with lipstick or pickleball, but if that’s all I have for God to look at, he may have some follow-up questions for me.

What did I do for “the least of these”?  And by that, he wouldn’t be referring to the Costco brand Pinot Noir that I look forward to each evening.  (Have you heard?  Evening now starts at 4PM.)

The speaker was advocating that we “Live Bigger”.  This is how God has wired us, he said.  For bigger lives.

And he’s right.  On days when I actually press “send” to an email of encouragement, or pick up the phone and listen more than speak, or smile at perfect strangers in the Jewel parking lot — there’s a tingling of joy that overrides Kirkland Pinot Noir and the latest MAC lipstick shade.

Chances are God won’t call us to take the next flight to Calcutta to follow in Mother Teresa’s footsteps. But he may ask us to put on a hair net and pack food bags at Feed My Starving Children.  (Annoyingly, Brett still looks good wearing a hair net.) Or pound a hammer for a house that’s not our own.  Or pick up the phone. Or smile more.

And if our right hand doesn’t tell our left hand what’s happening – that pleases God even more.

My friend, Susie (pseudonym), has been volunteer-tutoring a refugee high school student once a week.  Apparently she’s been doing this for a while.  And I just found out about it — which makes her outreach even more special.  Susie is doing what we’ve been wired for…and her face lit up as she described the experience – which just may override work accomplishments or recreational pastimes.

I bet her glass of Pinot Noir tastes better after tutoring.

At heaven’s door, she’ll get to exclaim, Hey look, God, did you see my girl?

Time to rock that hair net!

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, 45, NIV).

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The content of this post is based on a marriage seminar by Bradley Olson, Psy.D, M.Div, at South Park Church on 5-6-18.

3 thoughts on “Living Bigger

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  1. Oh Barclay, this is just a lovely piece. Now you know what I meant when I said wait and listen to what God tells you to do. We are all angels on earth to each other.Sometimes it’s just the small things. They may seem meaningless to us, but to others they are the world. Live with Intention.


    1. You model that so well, Diane! Thanks you for inspiring me! You’re so right about living with intention and listening for God’s leading (which I don’t often do..ugh)!! xo


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