After being dead, and then being alive, everything else is extra.
Sucking in that first breath, Lazarus may have jolted with the awareness that the simple draft of air was a gift. A freebie. Extra. He didn't deserve it. It came out of nowhere, unexpected. Dropped into the middle of a tomb, that one gasp, filling Laz' lungs with oxygen, was grace in gaseous form. He breathed it as wonderful. And he took another.
We grow used to the idea of living, until losing life comes very close. If you've ever been close to death, you may know a little how Lazarus felt about his new life breathing. I lost my older brother when I was about twenty. I remember such anger for losing him to death. But I also remember a determination not take life for granted; to seize the moment and all that. From the grave's edge vantage point, every moment looks like a gift. Each day is extra.
Why is it that it takes a funeral, or a dramatic illness, or a birth, to bring us back around? Why can't we live in the extra every day?
To be a Christ-follower means squaring off with the realities of our situation--we willfully break the relational bond with God, and we become aware that we're doomed. Death is the only option. But Jesus has performed the impossible: he's purchased a means to restore the shattered pieces of our intimacy with God. When we recognize the gift and give ourselves to the truth, all of life becomes extra.
Abundant life is living out of the extra. Your next breath is grace. What will you do with it?
Suggested Scripture For Today: John 10:1-18
1. Go outside and take purposefully deep breaths with your eyes closed.
2. Set a timer on your phone to go off every 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, ask: Am I using this moment as if it's the most precious moment in my life?
3. Set a time on your phone to go off every hour. When it goes off, do something completely crazy, generous, and spontaneous.
4. Buy a gallon of ice cream and deliver it to a friend without announcement.
Walk through the waters,