A New and Fuller Life

It is spring and the leaves on the trees are unfolding before our very eyes. It is almost Easter and we are reminded of the fulfillment of Christ’s death and resurrection and our opportunity to live a new and fuller life in Christ. Even though our physical eyes are not sharp enough to catch the unfolding of each leaf, may our spiritual eyes grow sharper and focus on the Grace that surrounds us this spring.

In his book, The Road Less Traveled, Scott Peck lays out the disciplines that allow us to confront, rather than avoid life’s problems – and as a result, to grow. These tools are: “delaying gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to truth, and balancing.” It is love, Peck writes, that gives us the will to use these tools. This love is defined by Peck as “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.

A life of total dedication to the truth means “a life of continuous and never-ending stringent self-examination.” It is the ongoing search for the bolder in one’s own eye.

Peck elaborates that if we are to grow, “the life of wisdom must be a life of contemplation combined with action.” He explains that “When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion – through the fact that for that someone… we take an extra step or walk an extra mile.  Love is not effortless.  To the contrary, love is effortful.”

The willingness to extend one’s self on behalf of another, to continually examine one’s self, and to exert effort in order to show love for another sounds like the love Christ demonstrated and we are celebrating this Easter. It exemplifies the death and rebirth that is available to each of us as each day we commit ourselves to live a new and fuller life in Christ.