Lord of Life,
we thank you that you don’t call us merely to step over the starting line,
but to run well and finish the race.
You don’t call us simply to an hour of decision,
but to a lifetime of discipleship.
Lord, deliver us from engaging with you superficially
and immerse us into the depths of the adventure you intend for us,
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
(John 10: 1-10)
Jesus used the imagery of shepherds to contrast the difference between sheep stealers, who are out to get everything for themselves, and the good shepherd who is totally committed to caring for the flock. In this story Jesus spells out a vision for his life and ours: “I came that you might have life: life in all its fullness.”
The author and management consultant, Charles Handy, wrote about his realization that he was failing to live up to the unexplored possibilities within him. Soon after he was married and working for the oil company, Handy’s wife engaged him in conversation that went like this:
‘Are you proud of your work?’ she asked.
‘It’s all right, as work goes.’
‘What about the people you work with, are they special?’
‘They’re all right.’
‘So, the company, is it really a good organization doing good things?’
‘I can’t complain, it’s all right.’
She looked hard at Charles and then said, “I don’t think I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who is prepared to settle for ‘all right.’”
Handy said, “It was an ultimatum of sorts and I resigned from the oil company the next month, but the conversation has always rung in my ears. ‘All right’ is not enough. I agree. We have only one life, we need to do more with it than merely survive.”
Meditate with the Holy Spirit and seek to identify the signs and causes of any drifting or unintentional half-heartedness.
The early Christian Iraenaeus captured the impressive sight of a person who is forever growing when he said, “The glory of God is seen in a person who is fully alive.” What will it mean for you today to embrace more fully this vision?
Selecting a Souvenir
We ponder loving God your vision for life,
that we may live life in all its fullness.
Wake us up from mediocrity.
Deliver us from blandness.
Motivate us by the possibility of venturing further into life.
because of your great care for us,
we step out with confidence and joy,
toward your vision of fullness of life.
Copyright © 2007 Geoff Pound Making Life Decisions
 Charles B. Handy, Myself, and Other More Important Matters (London: William Heinemann, 2006), 1.
Irenaeus, Against Heresies (Lib. 4, 20, 5-7; SC 100, 640-642, 644-648). Also viewed at Internet site: