What life to the full feels like

by Mar 23, 2016

What life to the full feels like

by Mar 23, 2016

I fly to Asia a few times each year, and every once in a while the airline likes to reward my loyalty. A few years ago, they gave me a surprise upgrade to first class. The gate agent smiled with a twinkle in her eye as she handed me a ticket that said seat 2K.

After I boarded the plane and went to seat 2K, I quickly discovered that it wasn’t actually a seat. It was a private suite! Positive it was a mistake, I went back to the flight attendant and stammered, “Uhh, is there another seat 2K on the airplane?” She looked at my ticket, brought me back to the suite, and said, “This is your seat. Is it … unacceptable?” I quickly said, “No, I guess it’ll work.”

It had a double-door entrance. A big wide bed. A 32-inch TV. My own personal refrigerated minibar. As soon as I sat down I was treated like royalty, with my own personal flight attendant. She brought me dinner on fine china, with five or six courses (I couldn’t keep count). Whenever I looked up in her direction, within a few seconds she was at my side. “Can I get you anything? … Another drink? … Some more to eat?” After dinner she brought me a nice down comforter and huge pillow, and made up my bed. I can never sleep on airplanes, but I slept like a baby for six solid hours. Thirty seconds after I woke up and stretched, she opened the doors and brought me a hot towel. Thirty seconds after that, I had a cup of coffee. Ninety seconds later, I had breakfast in bed and a newspaper to read.

When the plane landed, I was actually angry. I didn’t want the flight to end! And I felt like I’d never be able to fly in economy class again. Once you’ve flown in your own private suite, you just can’t sit in a normal airplane seat, where your knees are up against your chin. Where you have to pay for the privilege of eating and fight with the flight attendant to get the whole can of Coke. Once you’ve experienced the kind of luxury, comfort, and personal service I did, with people literally running to take care of you, it’s impossible to settle for anything less.

That’s a small picture of what happens when you’ve experienced life with Jesus. He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). Normal life is like flying in economy class, where they’ve slowly stolen away your meals, snacks, and even your blanket. Life with Jesus is like flying in first class. The food, wine, joy, and fulfillment just keep flowing!

Sure, you can go through your whole life without experiencing this kind of abundance, just like you can fly your whole life without ever setting foot in first class. You might wonder what’s behind that mysterious curtain, but if you never get up there and experience it, ignorance is bliss back in row 47. “Hey, at least I get a free reading light. I’m all good.”

If you never experience full life through Jesus, you might convince yourself that you’re happy, but then once you do experience it — really experience it — you’ll find it impossible to settle for anything else. All the other things in life that you used to depend on for comfort, pleasure, security, and contentment just don’t cut it anymore.

So how do we find this kind of full life? John, who heard Jesus promise it first-hand, seems to have had the same question. He thought about it for a long time, and later in life wrote a letter that talks all about it. Starting this Sunday (Easter Sunday, a celebration of life in Christ!) we’ll be seeing what he had to say. Invite a friend and join us!