Steve Schappell-My Blog

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Good Life and where to find it...

I had always wanted to join a Fraternity...

Not the "Kegga Brewa Drunka" kind, but one that would bring together a group of guys to share some similar experiences, create friendships that would last, and have a greater purpose.

Fortunately, I attended Geneva College, where there were no Fraternities, so that idea ended quickly.  Now; however, 29 years later (Wow, is it really that long?) I am in a Fraternity of sorts. 

For over the past year, every Thursday, I have been attending the Men's Fraternity at my Church.  This program is led by Dr. Robert Lewis, a pastor, author, speaker, who has a 3-year program on Authentic Manhood.  24 of us watch a DVD in the church sanctuary, followed by a small group discussion.  I have had the opportunity to get to know some of these men on a more personal level, to pray for them and to have their support.

Our 2nd year program is called "Winning at Work and Home," and focuses on three areas: (Better understanding of and working with your wife, Leading at Home, and Leading at Work.

Tonight's topic was called "The Good Life and Where to Find It."  I wanted to share the first part of it, as it was good practical information.

1. Can the Good Life be Defined?

Many studies have been undertaken and shared to answer this question.  Tonight, we learned that "Surprise," it can!

"Really?," you say.  "Well then, what is the Good Life and how and I have it?"

To answer that, let's work backwards by starting with what is isn't.

2. What the Good Life is Not
      
The studies broke down 4 areas that does NOT define the Good Life and comprise the "outer shell" of a person.  They are:
  • Wealth and Posessions
  • Beauty  
  • Thrilling Experiences
  • Personal Accomplishments  
These areas are inherently not bad, but they all fade over time and are not sustaining.  More money or things did not equate to a lasting happiness, and in some cases, made things worse.  Beauty is subjective, Thrilling Experiences are used to compensate for an otherwise mundane life, and Personal Accomplishments are often fleeting.

3. What the Good Life Is  
 
Breaking past the outer shell and getting to the "inside" of a person, we find there are 4 things are define what the Good Life is:
  
  • Close Friends
  • A Good Marriage
  • Control Over Your Life
  • A Vibrant Religious Faith 
 These are some great items.  Close friends build you up, become life long companions and can strengthen you.  Take a look at couples who have been married for a long time and they will tell you that a Good Marriage is one of the secrets to a good life.  Control over your life is not about doing it alone, but understanding that one of the keys to happiness and a good life is turning over contol of your life to a force greater than ourselves to gain control.  (It is a paradox, I know)  And finally, the studies show that a Vibrant Faith is essential to living the Good Life.  

4. Boiling it down 

Here is the last part, we took the 4 items above on what the Good Life is and we looked at the Bible to see what it had to say.  We looked at only (1) Verse and one sentence.  ONE...that sums it all up.

  • Love
  • Hope
  • Faith
 Close Friends and a Good Marriage all have LOVE in them.  Control over your Life has HOPE.  And a Vibrant Religious Faith has FAITH.  And the Verse?  Some of you may know it well, and for others, this may be one of the Secrets to the Good Life and Happiness.  Are you ready?

"Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:13

Here's to the Good Life my friends...may we all find it.