DISCLAIMER: Before all my Christian friends/family jump all over me for this piece, please do NOT focus on the theology of the story. Instead, please use this as an opportunity to reflect on your own life and as motivation to live your best life.
WARNING: David Goggins curses…a lot.
I was listening to a recent interview with David Goggins, author of Can’t Hurt Me. (I digested the book quickly, and I can’t wait to review it for you in the future!) In this interview, Goggins describes his greatest fear, and it’s one that I personally think about a lot: the fear of not living up to our potential. He uses a story about reaching heaven and having God reveal to him what his actual potential was compared to where he ended up.
Here’s my retelling of the story in my own words:
Imagine that you have died peacefully but unexpectedly in your sleep. You arrive in heaven, and God greets you lovingly at the pearly gates. As part of your judgement God pulls out a chart that details the accomplishments and challenges that occurred over the course of your life. He starts at birth and finishes with the day of your death. Next, God lays out the life you would have had if you had not succumbed to being comfortable. He shows you where in your life you could have chosen to work harder, provided more value to others, and accomplished more. He shows you what your full potential would have been. You stand in awe of the things you were meant to accomplish in life, but also dumbfounded and saddened by the missed experiences and opportunities.
Instead, what if we attacked life with the mindset that we want to surprise even the all-knowing God. Regardless of what the “best life” chart says, perhaps we are meant to outwork the result. WHAT IF we show up in heaven and God is surprised at what we accomplished, and he says, “Wow, even as God, I didn’t see this happening. I had to rewrite your chart as you were living it.”
WHAT IF we did MORE with our lives than even God expected?