If you have the chance to do something that you may never have the chance to do again, why not take that chance? Opportunities come and go. When the opportunity arises and it lines up with your goals, dreams, and values - that may be the open door for you to walk through. What’s to say that door will ever be open again?
A couple days ago, I started reading “20,000 Days and Counting” by Robert D. Smith. In it, he talks about first understanding and facing death in order that we may truly live. To understand our own mortality gives us a sense of intentional action and purpose, and frees us to live. Jesus said it best when he said he came to give us life and life more abundant. The abundant life is a life of intention and action. It’s not a life of passivity.
Regarding life, we have the choice to either let it happen or to make it happen. Letting life happen is what those who aren’t intentional do. Letting life happen is a decaying process that ultimately leads to death - whether that’s death of a dream, death of hope, death of a job or career, spiritual death, mental decay, or actual physical death. On the flip side, those who make life happen are the ones who are living intentionally. They have dreams, set goals, and work hard towards them. They make the hard decisions. They face failure, rise up again, and keep trying and striving. Those are the ones who make a difference, whether they impact one life or millions, there’s still an impact.
Tonight, Kim and I watched “The Fault in our Stars.” It deals with much the same issue. There’s a scene in the movie where the doctors advise against one of the main characters going to Amsterdam, yet the family makes arrangements for it anyway. And my first thought was how I started this - if you have the chance to do something that you may never have the chance to do again, why not do it?
A couple years ago, I prayed something that changed my life. A simple prayer - “God, wreck me.” This isn’t the first time I’ve written or spoken about it, but it still shapes what’s been going on in my life. You see, up until then, I was basically letting life happen. I let others decide what direction my life was going. There were subtle choices, but that’s all it took to let life happen instead of making life happen. Since praying that one thing though, my life has been full of adventure and impossibilities. I went on a week long missions trip to Belize and Guatemala, hiked nine miles up the side of a mountain despite not being anywhere near ready for it, I’ve learned much more programming and am about to release an Android app, I’ve read a lot more, I’ve learned to dream again, and I’ve become incredibly ambitious in my goals.
I’ve made contact with people I never would have imagined, thanks to social media and the connectedness of the internet. I started a business that hasn’t really gone anywhere, but I’m not giving up on it. My family is looking to move to somewhere around the Great Lakes, and that’s something I had given up on years ago. I’m in a job that I’m planning on leaving and my bosses are supportive of me in my goals.
There have been a lot of challenges but there have been more victories. And I’m not done yet. God flipped my world upside down after that prayer, some things quickly, others are taking longer, but there’s been a lot of change. It’s mostly been inward change which is the best kind. The inward change is what allows us to influence and change the world around us. Change in ourselves is what lights the fires of life.
Don’t just let life happen. Make it happen.