You might remember it (if you are middle aged or older)—the Schlitz beer commercial in the 70’s that popularized the “Go for the Gusto” phrase. That tag line has since been shaped into multiple meanings, some more cultured than others. The word gusto has spawned additional advertisements, countless restaurant names, business slogans and more.
Actually, you have to be really old to know the beginning of this concept. Even ancient. The concept of living with gusto goes all the way back to 950 BC. It’s the period of King Solomon of Hebrew fame. He wrote these words in Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 translated through The Message paraphrase:
Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it. For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.
You have God-given permission to live with gusto. Make each day count. Smile. Laugh. Celebrate. Go hang gliding. Take a risk. Every day is a gift. Life won’t last forever. Opportunities can be short-lived. You only go around once.
I love to live with zest. For me it means trying a different and unfamiliar food item on the menu in a foreign country. Or to jump out of a perfectly good airplane at 13,500 feet. Hang glide with a view of the Swiss Alps. Ride in my friend Wolfgang’s car on the German Autobahn at 300 kph (186.4 mph). Or try the latest Busch Gardens roller coaster with my son.
Does that mean I live without purpose, intentionality or focus? Live with reckless behavior? Not counting the cost? Disregard for others? No. Not at all. We must remember that all truths are to be tempered and aligned with other truths that God gives us.
God prompts us to live with purpose. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” He also coaches us in Romans 12:11, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Colossians 3:23 instructs us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. ”
My encouragement for you is to color outside the lines today. Live with intentional vigor in even a small way. Realize that life is short. Eat dessert first. God takes pleasure in your pleasure. Enjoy!
QUESTION: Share one thing you plan to do today to break out of your routine. Can’t wait to hear!