If you read my afterlife blog post, you’re probably not surprised that I want to keep talking about this whole “coming alive” thing. I honestly, in the depths of my heart, think that this is something extremely important and needs to be discussed. I want every single one of you to understand what it is that you makes you come alive and really live it out. Because, contrary to what some might people might think about Christians, we are not called to live a boring, dull, inactive life. That is not what God intended for us at all. We are here to be a light. We are here to bring Him glory. How do we bring Him glory? By using our God-given talents. Now, I am not saying that God wants us to all be happy. He wants something much better for us. Happiness comes and goes. It’s fleeting. No, what He wants for us is joy. Inner peace. Contentedness. Take a look at the physical world around you. Some sunsets, mountains, rain forests, waterfalls– they literally take your breath away. My husband comes alive whenever he gets to be in the snow. When I look at him, I can see his eyes dance. His smile is huge and contagious. I love snowboarding with him primarily for this reason. When I see him come alive and I know my being there helped with that, I am filled with joy.
For me, I come alive when I write stories. Ever since I was a little girl, I had a crazy imagination and loved to write my mom and sister poems and stories. I loved diving into a novel and getting completely lost into a whole different world. I always knew that I wanted to do this too. Every time I have written either a short story or novel, and my fingers can’t stop typing because I’m completely entranced, that’s when I feel it. There in the depths of my heart and soul. That feeling that tells me that I am supposed to be doing this. Now, this talent may seem a little boring in comparison to other talents you see out there, but I don’t care. I don’t care how “boring” your talent seems to the rest of the world, if it makes you come alive, then that’s all that matters. Too often, we get completely absorbed into the routine of everyday life. We go to work, or school, (or both) come home, browse through all our social media sites, have some dinner, maybe go work out, come home, watch TV and go to sleep. By the time we know it, 2 months have passed where we have been doing the same thing, day after day. What a waste! I encourage you to right now, take out your pen, or planner or phone, and schedule it in. WILL paint something for a half hour on Thursday. WILL come up with some new fashion designs. WILL cook something new for Friday night dinner. WILL take a salsa class. You get the picture. Baby steps. (Oh, and I also love waterfalls and water slides. The picture above was me at Slide Rock. I need to do more adventurous stuff like this!)
Now for those of you who may not know what your particular talent is or not sure what makes you come fully alive, here are my questions for you: 1) what have you done where you just felt the utmost joy coming from the depths of your heart and soul? 2) what have others told you “comes naturally” to you? 3) what do you remember loving to do as a kid? If you already know what you love to do and what your talents are, that is wonderful. Now use them. For those who are still on that journey, I would encourage you to keep these questions in mind.
You might be thinking, ok, so how does my drawing ability glorify God? How will I glorify Him by playing soccer? Cooking? Building cars? I believe that God created you and knew exactly what to bless you with and what would make you come alive. So yes, as crazy as it might sound, I do believe that brings glory to God when you crochet, draw, play basketball, whatever, because of what it does to you. You are loving life. You have a joy within you. And people will notice.
Don’t let these things hinder you from coming alive and living life to the fullest:
1) Fear: my biggest enemy. Fear might prevent you from working on a project because you think a) you won’t be good enough or b) you won’t be as good as other people. I know that for myself personally, I always compare myself to others. I think, holy crap, there are so many amazing authors out there and a million books that are already written. What makes me think that I will stand out? Something my sister said really resonated with me. She told me, “Yes, there are a million other authors out there. But there is only one Natalie Bahadori Ricker.” (I love her). Remember this whenever you feel any doubts coming on.
2) Laziness. Another big enemy of mine. Get up off your butt and do something! Don’t let months go by without you picking up that microphone or paintbrush. Let’s go, time’s a wastin!
3) Life. Yes life is unbelievably busy at times. But try your hardest to make time to do what you love. Schedule it in!
PS. I write this not because I have all the answers and I am the queen at being fully alive all the time. Heck no. It is a struggle for me every day! So, I write this for you and as a reminder to me. Let’s do this together!
P.S.S I envy people who have amazing singing voices. This is a talent where you can clearly see someone come alive. Every time I see this video with Carrie Underwood singing, “How great thou art”, I am awed by her talent. It is the perfect example of what happens when you use your talent to bring glory to God.
Check it out: