In a couple of weeks, I am speaking at the spiritual renewal week at a local Christian high school. The theme is “We Were Made to Thrive” based on Casting Crowns song, “Thrive.”

There is a phrase in the songs that says, “It’s time for us to do so much more than just survive.” So I begin with the questions, “what does it take to survive? If we were made to thrive, what does that look like?”

There are five elements necessary for human survival: air (oxygen), water, nutrients, shelter and sleep. In extreme conditions, a person can go without oxygen for 3 minutes, after 5 minutes brain damage occurs, with irreversible damage in under 10 minutes.

The human body is made up of 60% water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31% . Considering how watery we are, survival without water is a mere three days. After that dehydration sets in and well, it doesn’t end well.

Who knew shelter was so important?! In extreme cold or heat, the body will react with body temperatures too high or low to maintain life in just three hours.

Of course, we know that food is necessary for survival. Truth be known, most of us consume more than is necessary for survival and after missing a meal we might be caught moaning, “I am starving!” But really a person can go three weeks without food. The body essentially uses the stored fat and then muscle to sustain functions.

And sleep…24 hours with no sleep results in headaches. After 72 hours of no sleep, memory is impaired; 96 hours without sleep, cognition is impaired and after 144 hours without sleep, hallucinations begin.

In order to just survive as a human, we need these five things. But that only brings us to a point of survival. I would add three additional components to thrive in survival: human touch, personal space and sanitation.

Studies show that human touch is necessary for early growth and development of healthy humans. As much as we need touch and caress, we also need space to avoid chaos and overcrowding. And finally, sanitation. In the long term, proper sanitation is necessary to avoid contamination by human waste.

So, if we have all these things, we can survive. But will we thrive? What does it take to thrive in life?

As I have pondered this question, I am on high alert to anything that speaks to survival or thriving. Inspiration has come in the form of movies, blog posts and songs. This week, I would like to explore what thriving looks like because we were made to more than survive.

John 10:10 makes it clear to me that we were meant to more than survive. As Jesus teaches the disciples using the metaphor of the sheepfold, the shepherd and the sheep, he says the thief has come to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life! That sounds like thriving to me.

I don’t know about you, but I want rich and satisfying! I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive. We began this week with a brief look at hope. I believe to thrive, we need hope. Hope is more than just wishing for something to happen. Biblical hope, the kind we receive from the Holy Spirit is confident trust with the expectation of fulfillment. It is something to put your feet on, drive a stake into and build your life around.

If you want to more than survive, join me this week as I explore what it means to THRIVE! It might look exactly like we expect; it might have elements that surprise us. But no matter what we discover, I know it will fill us with joy and peace, because that is who Jesus is.

Until next time…

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-25

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