Monday, January 02, 2006

Living the Sweet Life

Are you tired of your day-to-day life? Do you feel like you are trudging down a long and weary road in your job? Are you lonely and just feeling generally down and out--going nowhere and accomplishing nothing? Apparently, many people today do.

According to Max Lucado’s book Cure for the Common Life, this problem can be seen in some “mind-numbing” and alarming statistics quoted from various sources, which are listed on page 215:

1. Unhappiness on the job affects one-fourth of the American work force.
2. One-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.
3. Seven out of ten people are neither motivated nor competent to perform the basics of their job.
4. Forty-three percent of employees feel anger toward their employers often or very often as a result of feeling overworked. (15)

Such feelings are bound to lead to mediocrity in performance--not to mention aimless unhappiness with life in general.

Max says that each of us is uniquely created with gifts we are meant to use to make much of God—to further his kingdom. He didn’t make that up. The Bible says so in a number of places. Max says,

God endows us with gifts so we can make him known. Period. God endues the Olympian with speed, the salesman with savvy, the surgeon with skill. Why? For gold medals, closed sales, or healed bodies? Only partially.

The big answer is to make a big to-do out of God. Brandish him. Herald him. “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well…. Then God will be given glory” (1 Pet. 4:10-11 NLT). (5)

How do we get out of being bored, stressed-out overworked drudges? We can live in the “sweet spot,” which Max explains as the convergence of three areas of life: the everyday life, the purpose of glorifying God, and the assessment of your strengths. “Here is the big idea,” he says: “Use your uniqueness (what you do) to make a big deal out of God (why you do it) every day of your life (where you do it)" (7).

Lucado, Max. Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot. Nashville: W Publishing Group of Nelson, 2005.

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