“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Every year my family and I maintain a YMCA membership over the oh-so-cold Minnesota winter months and then suspend it over the summer so we can enjoy the great outdoors. A few weeks ago, with the sub-zero temps settling back in, it was time to hit the Y. Checking my boys into the kids’ area, I stepped lightly as I made my way to the familiar workout floor filled with every kind of fitness machine possible. As I closed in on what had always been my usual spot with my favorite version of an elliptical, I was stopped short when I realized my old faithful machine was no longer there. Taking a quick glance around, I realized the Y had made some serious updates over our hiatus and had replaced nearly every machine on the floor with the latest and greatest technology. No longer sure which machine would best suit me, (and quickly ruling out all machines without a TV – I mean let’s be honest, if I’m going to workout on a machine I’m going to watch a little Fixer Upper while I do!) I decided to change things up that night. The idea was simple. I didn’t know what machine I would like best, so I decided to spend about 10 minutes on a variety of machines and see which one best suited me. Was it the best workout? Probably not. But did I learn a lot about the various machines and eventually find one I liked best? Yes!
As I rotated through machines that night, giving each one a try, I couldn’t help but wonder how different our lives might look – how different my life might look if I was willing to simply give more things a try. To be open to new hobbies, new restaurants, new activities, new volunteer roles, new career options, new – well, anything! What if instead of feeling as though everything I try has to be a success as some would define it and be a lifelong fit, I simply tried new things for the sake of trying them. To see what other things in life I might like.
I recently heard it said, “You are the sum total of your exposure.” Think about that for a minute. Your life is truly made up of only those things you have been exposed to. Imagine if Michael Phelps had never jumped in a pool. Michael Jordan had never handled a basketball. Or Michael Bublé had never picked up a microphone. Okay, that’s a lot of Michael’s there, but you get the point. The reality is, we are never going to know what suits us best, what we like or enjoy doing if we are not willing to try new things.
The Bible tells us Jesus came so we could have life and have it to the full. While much can be said about that, in short, it means because Jesus came we can have life in Him that is meaningful, purposeful, joyful, and eternal. As such, I would suggest part of living full lives means being open to trying new things, seeing what else out there God has wired us to enjoy and find fulfillment in. Imagine all the things you have yet to try that you just might like, that might make your life just a bit fuller – a bit more meaningful, enjoyable, and purposeful.
So how about it, are you willing to try something new?
Let’s make this our best year yet and purpose to try something new each month. And remember, if it’s not the right fit, no worries, then try something new – again!
What is something new you will try this week?