“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”

silhouette with bubbles“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”

This is one of the most compelling quotes to come from Saint Irenaeus, a 2nd century church father and apologist. It paints a beautiful picture of both the heart of God and the intended design for human beings.

Have you ever had a moment where you felt fully alive?  Can you picture one of those moments where every one of your senses was heightened and the very essence of your being felt like it was being lit up from the inside out?

For some of you it may have occurred when you encountered nature in a mystical and beautiful way.  That time you saw the painted horizon across the sky or when you surveyed a wondrous mountaintop.

For others it may have been in the midst of a moment that felt nearly miraculous. That time you witnessed a baby enter the world, or when someone you care deeply about said, “I love you” for the first time.

For some it was when you took a risk that carried you way past your typical comfort threshold.  That time that you left a comfortable job to pursue a new opportunity, or when you asked out the girl of your dreams.

Some of us crave the experience of being fully alive so badly that we will consistently put ourselves in high-risk situations in its pursuit.  Isn’t that why so many people try skydiving and bungee jumping?  I’ve seen people who race motorcycles at full speed, mountain bike dangerous trails, and gamble enormous sums of money along the path of that pursuit.  It is quite the irony that many will intentionally walk right up to the edge of death in the hope of feeling fully alive – even if it lasts just for a minute.

That’s what makes the promise of Jesus in John 10.10 so compelling: “I have come to bring life, and to bring life in all of its fullness.”

The possibility that we can actually live as human beings that are fully alive is both breathtaking and frustrating. Breathtaking, because we so deeply long for it. Frustrating, because we so rarely live like that.

I’m going to be blogging for awhile on this theme.  I’m going to share out of my firsthand struggle with both the potential of fullness of life as well as the struggle to experience it more frequently. Questions arise, like, what does fullness of life actually mean? What does it look like? How do we get there? How do we know if we are making progress? How do we know when it is slipping away? What do we do if is not our typical experience? Where do we even begin?

These are just some of the many questions I will directly or indirectly address… at least as I am asking them in my own life.

Until then, let’s trust that St. Irenaeus had the heartbeat of Jesus right when he boldly declared these wonderful words:

“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”  

4 responses to ““The glory of God is a human being fully alive.””

  1. This is refreshing, Daniel!… I honestly felt most fully alive as a child, being creative and making tents out of blankets & clothespins in my backyard. : ) Yet, because I grew up as an extrovert in a small town, there was never enough creative people or deep conversation stimulation as I grew older… I always felt like the gypsies dropped me off in bumpkinville – ha!

    Now, I feel fully alive in the city; and many days, overstimulated! It seems I always have to work to keep balance & a base in our neighborhood with a “going & doing” cultural norm… My hub & I have also been pondering/studying how we do not feel fully alive because of our heritage… sins of past generations that still grip, so to speak. So, look forward to where you are going with this series!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing on here Diane! Good to see you the other day at the coffeeshop

  3. […] vision of being fully alive already had been cast from the opening pages of Scripture, as explored earlier. The Apostle John then seized the word life as the single best way to comprehensively describe […]

  4. Reblogged this on Tracy McCormick-Dishman and commented:
    “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”

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