Living the Abundant Life

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 “It is of our own choosing if we grovel in that which is mean and low, for we are constantly invited to a higher life, to purer thoughts, to nobler works.”*

Contentment.  Peace. Joy. How can we experience these to the full?  How can we have life and have it abundantly?

I can’t say I’ve arrived, but so far I’ve learned three ways -

  • First: Be  thankful. For example, don’t focus on what you want; be thankful for what you  have. As Nabil N. Jamal noted, “He who is satisfied with what he has, is a rich man.”

As an outdoorsman living in Montana I’d love to have a good selection of hunting rifles and shotguns. Instead, I have one rifle and one shotgun. The rifle shoots straight and the shotgun is reliable. I have one fly rod, a three-weight that’s a little light for Montana’s big rivers, but just right for the streams and mountain lakes.

I couldn’t have said this years ago, but today I no longer have to have. Instead, I have learned to be thankful for what I do have. Thankfulness = contentment.

  • Thriving in Hard Rock

    Thriving in Hard Rock

    Second: Cultivate acceptance. We can make our plans and try to control life, but when it all comes down to it all we really do is react.

Recently I arose one morning and like any dutiful Christian I submitted my plans to the Lord so they would be established (Proverbs 16:3). Which meant I hoped God would see things my way. He didn’t.

Shortly after breakfast as I was getting ready to take my tasks to task, I got a phone call from a friend who lives about an hour away. He wanted to come for a visit and a cup of coffee. I thought of my plans for the day, hesitated a moment and then said, “Come on over.”

We had a great conversation and something I said was so encouraging to him that he exclaimed, “If you weren’t male I’d jump up and hug ya!” I was reminded that life is about people, not about all the junk I think I have to get done. Acceptance = peace.

  • Indian Paintbrush

    Indian Paintbrush

    Third: Slow down and appreciate. Sometimes this comes by seeing the world with new eyes, even the eyes of a child.

Childlike wonder isn’t something we need to be appreciative, but it helps. Those dandelions aren’t weeds; they’re yard flowers. It is so sad to grow up. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in his classic, The Little Prince “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” Do you remember? I’m learning that appreciation = joy.

If you’d like to read more about appreciating God and His creation, try my post God and the Great Outdoors.

If you feel pressured and frustrated with life, try Slow Down and Live.

If (like me) you’re getting older and feel like life is passing you by, try Reminisce or Live?

Or just for fun, try Real Men Own Poodles.

AND LASTLY: I usually update my blog with at least one new post every Wednesday by 4:00 P.M. MST. My latest post is Shank Meat’s Back on the Table, Boys!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

If you’d like to PM me, my email is mike (at) mikeraether (dot) com. (Well, not literally of course but this format gives spambots indigestion).

*Jacob Cooper, D.D. in The Biblical Illustrator, © ÂŠ 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc. Used with permission.

St. Regis Flea Market Gallery

The following photos were made at the 2011 St. Regis Flea Market and are © 2011 Mike Raether.

about the categories

We think of categories as doors opening off a long hallway. We’ve given each “door” a name and a bit of a description to help you understand what to expect before you walk through. Your key to each door is simply your curiosity and a click of your mouse. Come on in!

  • Life – Perspectives on the business of living, from thoughtful to just plain fun
  • Culture – Observations on life in America, the environment, politics, and more.
  • Faith – By “faith” we mean faith in God, which we view as a reasoned response to the Creator who manifests His attributes through His creation and who seeks personal, loving relationships with people.
  • Leisure - Believing that a life properly lived includes the deliberate pursuit of recreation and relaxation, here you’ll find a junk drawer mix of comments and thoughts on the things we enjoy in Montana’s Big Sky Country: eating, sightseeing, photography, hiking, backpacking, camping, hunting, fishing, and more.
  • Writer’s Corner – A place for my fellow writers to poke the coals around the campfire of the writer’s life and craft.
  • Podcasts – Verbal commentary on all of the categories and more.

A last word. If you don’t see one of the categories listed under “Categories” it simply means that nothing is yet posted under that category. Check back!

about the blogger

Mike Raether July, 2005 copyMeet Mike Raether. Mike writes from deep in the mountains of rural Western Montana. As a freelance writer, his work has appeared in a wide assortment of national and regional magazines and newspapers. In addition to writing, his interests include fly fishing, hiking, photography, backpacking, hunting – and people. Mike is a student of life, culture, and a follower of Jesus Christ.

Mike’s approach to faith is boldly unconventional. With both hands, he fully embraces the Biblical encouragement to “…examine everything carefully; [and] hold fast to that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, NASU).

In respect to family Mike has been totally married to Katherine for 25 years. Together they share eight grown children, nineteen grandchildren and five  great-grandchildren.

Mike invites you to interact with him. All perspectives are welcome. His email is mike (at) mikeraether (dot) com (original, eh?).  Mike seeks a stimulating and provocative exchange of thoughts and ideas. C’mon, jump in!

Living the Abundant Life