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Carried Away

“That was awesome!” is one of my favorite sayings. I love it when a man tells a story about something that happened in life and ends with this statement because it means he encountered something bigger than himself. This apparently is what happened to Paul in Ephesians 3. As he described the advantages that come to our lives through a relationship with Christ, he got carried away. He pointed out that we have “power through his Spirit in your inner being . . . to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (v. 16-19) The reality of God himself dwelling in us and sharing His resources with us overwhelmed him so he blurted out, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (v. 20-21) It is like someone cheering at a sporting event in response to a great play.
We are all so prone to being self-centered and self-absorbed that we easily conclude our lives are the most important, most dramatic topic around. The truth is that we are all part of a worldwide, history wide story that is being orchestrated by God himself. As a result, there are remarkable things happening all around us that inspire us, challenge us, humble us and remind us that life is filled with potential and dignity.
I am still reeling from a family I met this summer. I was performing a simple wedding followed by a reception at the new couple’s home. I sat down to eat lunch with what looked like a very ordinary family. It turned out that for fun they hunt bears. They have a pack of dogs that are trained to pursue a bear and drive him into a tree. The hunters then approach their prey. They don’t hunt with guns, however. They shoot the animal with cameras! They are like the wilderness paparazzi and they have some of the most dramatic photos I have ever seen in my life. They get as close as 10-12 feet to these powerful animals so they can get interactive pictures in their natural habitat.
I asked one of them, “Aren’t you afraid the bear is going to jump out of the tree and maul you since you are so close?”
He calmly replied, “Oh, the dogs would never let that happen.”
All I could say in response was, “That is awesome.” I felt small yet inspired. I have enjoyed some great experiences in my life but I have never done anything like this. I now know, however, that is possible. And that is the point. Big things are possible because we have a big God living in us that has power, knowledge, courage, focus and an adventurous spirit. In the right way, getting carried away in life is to be expected because God regularly does what is beyond our imagination.

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