Meeting my mom and dad at the doctor’s office, I popped the trunk to get the scooter out of the car. A problem stared me in the face. The missing battery. I remembered seeing it that morning charging in their den.

I told mom I’d head to their house, get the battery and return so dad could make his appointment. Opening the carport door, I ran straight to the den to grab the scooter battery and quickly turned to make my way back out to the car. My heart almost stopped beating. Two legs were standing close to the door.

Correction: two prosthetic legs stood close to the door. I breathed a sigh of relief. Why were they in the kitchen? I told mom and dad about my experience when I returned, and we all shared a deep belly laugh.

A new pair had been delivered that morning.

The life of an overcomer

Living more than 50 years with prosthetic legs, my dad is the picture of an overcomer. (Growing up, we called them artificial legs.) When life threw disappointment and pain at him, he bounced back, determined to live his life abundantly. He has inspired countless people along the way. He still teases new friends, especially kids, trying to convince them to hit his leg as hard as they can, and laughs when they realized they’re not real. Yep, he’s all about squeezing as much out of life as he can.

I always wanted to live my life to the fullest as well, and I think I got this drive and my sense of adventure from him.

At 89 he decided he would take his three-wheeler for a spin down the street. (Yes, it is a 1980’s three-wheeler, not the safer, more stable four-wheeler version. I grew up doing wheelies on that now-banned ATV!) His excursion may not sound odd but because of his prosthetic legs and his age, we help him get in and out of the car for every outing.

“Dad,” I asked, “How did you even manage to get up on the three-wheeler?” He replied that he backed up to the seat, pushed his body up and swung one leg over. I think his willpower, along with sheer determination, got him on and off it! My heart races just thinking about it.

Nothing like living life to the fullest, right? He says that when he turns 90, he’ll probably stop doing stuff like that. Thankfully, that’s right around the corner.

The Source of all joy

I think Jesus would have us do the same thing. Maybe not breaking the law but living a life overflowing with joy. After all, The Bible teaches that Jesus is the source of all joy.

Granted, there will be pain and disappointment along the way. Until I lost my husband, I never knew that a heart could physically ache from grief. I didn’t know that I could miss someone with every breath I took.

But in my grief, God reminded me of one of my favorite verses. Odd that it talks about living a full life. Jesus told us that He came so we might have life abundantly. (John 10:10) The first part of that verse tells us that the thief (Satan) comes to steal and kill and destroy. But Jesus wants us to not just live life, but experience life to the full. And we don’t have to do it alone. Jesus is right there, walking beside us if we will let him.

Let’s commit to living the rest of our days – not half alive, but fully alive. Like my dad.