by Marvelyn Schell

I just finished a book about addiction. I read it to educate myself and help understand those caught in the grip of addiction. In reading it a comment that my colleague, Leanne McAlister, once said came to my mind. “Really, the world is broken.  We’re all broken.” , she said.

Yes, we are.

Many just don’t realize it – I didn’t.

We desperately try to fill our cups, all the while life is slowly seeping out leaving us feeling empty and unfulfilled. We keep ourselves busy and full of activity because it’s too frightening to stop and recognize the void. In the words of Bill Radmall from Insight into Addiction: “…ask people on the street, and it is unlikely that many would acknowledge that they have a gaping chasm inside them….they may only be aware of an undefined dissatisfaction....(they have) defended themselves from any awareness of their emptiness – perhaps by not allowing any time to think or reflect on their lives.” (pp 29)

So, let’s take the time …and do some thinking and reflecting…..

ZOE is Greek and means: absolute fullness of life, life which belongs to God, life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, to last forever, …..abundant life (John 10:10).  We at ZOE Projects, believe this “life” is for those we seek to help and empower around the world…but it is also for us. You see, I look around and see many women who struggle with an ‘undefined dissatisfaction’. A restlessness…a hunger…to be a part of something larger then themselves…desperate to get involved and make a difference in this world.

One catchphrase I came across in doing some research on women’s issues was, “Tackle a campaign to make the world suck less”.

Please tell me you’ve noticed. Women are speaking up and women’s issues are the hot topic, at the forefront of global discussions! It’s splashed all over the media, literature, politics and entertainment. The messaging is strong, women matter …and want to matter.

So what is it that we’re missing? Is life just about tackling another campaign so that the world sucks less? How on earth do we live ZOE life?...full, real, genuine, active, vigorous, ABUNDANT.

Well, here’s Webster’s definition of ABUNDANCE: large amount, plentiful, present in great quantity, more than enough. Abundance seems to imply a place of unlimited resource. One of the great lesson’s I learned from the women I served while being a Global Worker with PAOC was how to live the abundant life. They showed me that it is not the absence of struggle or pain (something we North Americans resist vigorously) but thepresence of Christ in the struggle or pain that was evidence of living the abundant life. You see, we attempt to change our circumstances in our effort to fill the cracks and live life abundantly.

Get a new job, new house, new church, new degree, new dress, new friends, new husband,…the list is endless …but these are limited resources, quick fixes….and dare I say, sometimes addictive?

But there really is only one “fix” and that’s Jesus Christ. When we yield ourselves to Christ and when we seek to be filled with His Spirit we find freedom and the ability to thrive in life …to live an abundant life…despite our circumstances.

I’ve personally learned that only Christ can supply me with the unlimited resource of PURPOSE, VALUE and HOPE.

But wait!

It’s doesn’t end there. When we live the abundant life…remember our definition of abundance?….we should have more than enough…but more than enough for WHAT?!?!

TO BECOME LIFE GIVERS!!!!!

Isn’t that awesome?!  We become a conduit of Christ to the world! So long undefined dissatisfaction! I’ve got PURPOSE, VALUE and HOPE because of Christ in me and I choose to give it away.

I’ve become a life-giver so that the world sucks less.

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