Years ago a popular television ad showed several young people laughing and smiling as they enjoyed sailing on a blustery day. Then the boat was tipped to a precarious angle and spray splashed across the lens of the camera as the rich full voice of the announcer said, “You only go around once, so reach for all the gusto you can get.”
Do you remember the ad? Do you remember what that ad suggested would bring gusto to life?
Now, this is not a post about alcohol. It is a post about living life with gusto. I can tell you from experience and research would confirm this, “drinking beer does not bring any more gusto to life than eating watermelon rinds.”
The advertisers capitalized on two truths to try to sell their product.
1. We have only one shot at life on this earth and….
2. There isn’t a person breathing that doesn’t want to live life with gusto.
If beer and watermelon rinds are not the answer, then how can I live that abundant gusto-filled life?
Live with Nothing to Prove
I spent much of my life trying to prove my worth to whatever group of people surrounded me at the time. In high school, most of my behavior was a desperate attempt to be accepted. I felt unworthy because I had no athletic ability, was not particularly popular, and was totally devoid of confidence. I spent some precious years, trying to impress people who didn’t care and most of whom I would never see again after graduation.
How sad. You and I are one of a kind. No one who has lived, or ever will live is like YOU. A rare painting sells for millions of dollars. Imagine what a one-of-a-kind person is worth.
- You were created in the image of God. That truth shoots your personal value through the roof.
- He paid the highest price possible to redeem your soul. That makes you priceless. No person or thing can discount you.
Don’t waste another minute trying to prove your worth to anyone. Go for the gusto! Live with nothing to prove.
Live with Nothing to Hide
It is so sad to watch public figures endowed with enormous talent come to ruin because they have spent a lifetime hiding some scandalous behavior from the public. Imagine what they could have accomplished with the energy they use to cover their misdeeds.
All of us occasionally find ourselves in “cover up” situations. I’ve been there and done that. Some lives are entirely wasted hiding something.
Understanding and embracing two concepts can free you to live with nothing to hide.
1. Integrity frees you from ever having to hide anything.
2. Forgiveness frees you from the things you have been hiding.
For me learning to practice integrity and embrace God’s forgiveness was like being let out of prison. No more need to drag shame and guilt on the race of life. Some people may never forgive us. But accepting God’s forgiveness and forgiving ourselves frees us to live life with nothing to hide.
Live with Nothing to Lose
How much energy and time we waste gathering THINGS and trying to protect THINGS that we cannot keep and can be taken from us in a heartbeat. What if life offered a purpose so expansive that THINGS didn’t matter that much? A purpose so amazing that not even DEATH could keep us from achieving it. That’s the power of faith in Christ.
The most exciting people I have ever met are unstoppable. They cannot be deterred by threats or circumstances. They have chosen to live to bring hope and justice to other people and in the process glorify their creator.
I haven’t mastered all this yet, but practicing these principles has brought more “gusto” to my life at the age of 67 than ever before in my life.
How about you?
By the way, If you don’t buy the principles listed above, I have some old beer and watermelon rinds you can try.