Life to the Full

Ever since I read the book, ‘Wild at Heart’ by John Eldredge many years ago, I have been enthralled by the idea of ‘life to the full.’ This phrase comes from a scripture passage from the Gospel of John:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

I was so captivated by it because I had often heard a different message about life. “If you want to have a ‘good’ life then don’t do this, and don’t do this and don’t do that.” In my mind, I had agreed with the whole ‘right and wrong’ thing, but this idea that my own life should be based on a set of rules, a set of ‘don’ts’ just didn’t work for me.

Around this time, it was like my ears were opened to a different message; and it was the message of life. For the first time, I was hearing a positive vision of what my life could be and look like. This phrase conjured up many images in my head and my heart. I began to describe it as ‘life to the full.’

I’m sure that for each of us what we envision for this varies, but in this idea, my life was so much more exciting than I had ever imagined. I realised that my life was a part of a bigger story that was happening all around me, and I had a unique part to play in the story – there was a contribution that only I could make. I imagined that the ‘fullness of life’ was this reality that I could experience at the intersection of an understanding of who I truly was in all my goodness, where I grasped what my unique role to play in the story was, and where I found a way to live out of these two things in my everyday routine.

I must admit that at first, I didn’t really think that this was possible. It sounded too good to be true – too airy-fairy and lofty. I had doubts that if this even existed, it wasn’t achievable for me. After all, the way I had been living was not perfect but littered with mistakes and regrets. It made sense to me that this ‘life to the full’ was reserved for those people were more successful or talented or smarter than me. Those who had their life put together could have a ‘full life,’ but I was destined for something much more… mediocre. I could have a good life, but a great life? Well, that just seemed unattainable.

I started looking around. I started looking a little deeper at the people around me. As my gaze shifted from some of the more visible people in our culture to some of those who were right in front of me, a funny thing happened. I began to see these people who seemed a bit…different (in the best possible way). These people just seemed… ALIVE! I think that if you stop and reflect for a moment, you know them too. They are joyful, passionate, vibrant, dynamic and engaging. When you encounter them you always walk away feeling more positive and energetic than you did before. Things that seemed a bit blasé or hopeless before you encountered them suddenly seem exciting or hopeful. These people had something that I wanted, so started to ask questions like, what have they got that I don’t? How is it that they are always joyful? And I wanted ‘it.’ Whatever it was that they had, I wanted it, and my heart began to yearn for it.

If you’ve ever asked yourself questions like this, I hope that you’ll continue to follow along on this blog as I explore this idea of a ‘life to the full.’ Is life to the full actually possible? Can I have it? Stick with me as we explore together the answers to these questions in pursuit of a life to the full filled with purpose, meaning and joy!

Mark Doyle

Executive Director

« back