Where Leaders Come to Think

Living Fully Alive


Inspiration happens at the strangest moments. Yesterday afternoon my son innocently asked, “Dad, have you written a new blog post this week?” You see we share a common blogging interest. He is a cartoonist-kind of blogger and me well…leadership. However, my response to him was surprising. ‘Nope son, I’ve been too busy worrying to write.’

A sad commentary during the Christmas season.

Briley who is 14 years wise peered over his shoulder and offered me his version of a coaching tip. “Dad, I would stop wasting your time worrying and write.”

Bingo – Briley’s words were a blast in the face with a bucket of ice water. I have spent a good part of my week wasting my time. Best I can tell is that the first week of advent was never dedicated to worrying. I heard an inward cry rise from within my heart.

Wake up and live Mark!

I needed to find my heart. So, I went for a run.

During my run, one of my favorite quotes popped into my head. A quote from Saint Irenaeus (an early church father and apologist.)

“The glory of God is man, fully alive.”– St. Irenaeus

Immediately I felt the condemnation due a person who had just been busted by his child living less than alive. I realized that perhaps I don’t know what it means to live fully. Perhaps my perspective on this issue differs from God’s. If this is the case I may be celebrating the wrong Holiday.

I finished the jog and read the Christmas story in the Bible.

Christmas is the celebration of God becoming fully alive. For whatever reason God made himself present and available in our lives. He interrupted my pity party with his love. Perhaps I should look to the lessons of Christmas to recalibrate my own personal definition of living fully alive.

  • To me, fully alive meant every relationship I have is perfect.
  • To God, it meant being hunted and fleeing shortly after His birth.
  • To me, fully alive meant wealth.
  • To God, it means being born in a barn.
  • To me, fully alive meant credibility.
  • To God, it means humility.
  • To me, fully alive meant stability.
  • To God, it means purpose.
  • To me, fully alive meant being popular.
  • To God, it means rejection.
  • To me, fully alive meant respect.
  • To God, it means love.

Thinking about it sounds kind of absurd. Somehow during the rush of the popular holiday season I forgot what it means to live fully alive. Living a full life is not about living a perfect life – rather it means living a life open to love.

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  1. Scott Sholar
    Scott Sholar12-10-2012

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Mark!

  2. RAB

    In everything Live Sexy!

  3. pjreviewofbooks

    Great contemplation, Mark. How profound that the only human being that has ever lived fully alive was born for the purpose of giving everything. Some good incarnation reflections.

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia12-06-2012

      Pastor Jeff someday I will learn to do things the easy way! I’m glad I caught myself now before i missed the Spirit behind Advent.

  4. Kelly Combs
    Kelly Combs12-06-2012

    Wow, Mark, I enjoyed this post. I, too, have been so busy I haven’t blogged in weeks, but yesterday I finally got one out. I want to be fully alive too! Jesus came to give us live, abundantly. Let’s live it that way!

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia12-06-2012

      Thanks Kelly – I am with you! It’s funny but every year the Christmas season wakes me up to a new reality. Remind me next year, would you?

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