I have a fear, several actually, but one in particular that is always close. It wakes me from my sleep at night, haunting me, taunting me and mocking me. It will sometimes slither into my thoughts during the day, waiting for a moment when I am tired or stressed, when my defenses are down.

This fear can take many forms, but it is always based on a single premise; that I am standing before God at the end of my life and being shown the life I could have lived. The life I would have lived, if I’d only followed through with “x”. The life I would have lived, if I hadn’t been afraid to do “y” or if I would have taken the time to do “z”. I fear reaching the end of my life and not having lived to my fullest potential.

It’s not that I fear God will zap me with a lightning bolt (I’m banking on grace), it’s that I can imagine no greater tragedy than to not have lived my “best life”.

Inside me lies grand ambitions, goals, purpose and adventures that I want to live. However, too often I choose immediate pleasures that keep my “best life” at bay. I choose a burger when my body needs a salad. I choose a nap when I should run. I choose to read when I should write.

My lesser fears conspire. They proclaim that they will protect me. The fear of failure. The fear of shame. The fear of hypocrisy. The fear of humiliation. The fear of rejection.

My struggle is not with my primary fear, the fear of not living to my fullest potential, it’s with the lesser fears and immediate pleasures. They entice, then mock and shame. They promise peace, strength and security, but then leave me cold, timid and tired. They are the ones that rob me of living my best life.

As you are making resolutions and goals for 2016, look at your list from a new perspective. Recognize that your goals and ambitions are often a picture of your life at its’ fullest potential. See them as the highlights in your future biography, thrilling chapters in the story of your life. They are a glimpse into your best life, pursue them as if your life depended on it, your best life does.

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