I was sitting at a little coffee shop in my hometown last Saturday morning, when I overheard a mother-daughter conversation happening next to me. The daughter, who had just begun the second semester of her freshman year at the State University, clearly was not thrilled with the amount of enthusiasm she’d encountered on campus. There were simply too many excitable students – and too many impassioned professors – for her liking. The sweet mother, looking to placate her disenchanted freshman, fumbled for words: “ You know, you have to give people credit for being passionate.”
I literally wanted to turn around right then, put my hand on the mother’s back, so as to express my complete endorsement of her response, look the precious daughter in the eye and ask: “Honey, where do you think the world would be without passionate people?” Nothing like a little friendly punctuating of some heavily involved conversation by commentary from a total stranger.
I opted out of creating such a scene. However, if they had welcomed the unexpected commentary, I would have pulled up a chair and gladly given a few minutes of my heart. The question twirls in me daily – hourly. I could fill journal pages with my response. What would life be without passion? Without a reason and purpose to wake up every day? Without seeing the very moments we are given as opportunities for growth – for change – for impact – for progress – for becoming whom we are destined to be?
Erwin McManus, author of my latest favorite book, Soul Cravings, writes: The human spirit longs to become. We are born with an instinct not only for survival but also accomplishment. All of us, at the very least, want to create a better life, a better future, a better us. When we surrender these aspirations, we find ourselves drowning in apathy and atrophy.
Well said, Erwin. All of us long for our lives to count. Yet not all of us do something about it. Few of us recognize the incredible influence we have – both on our own lives and on the lives of those around us. We must stop sleeping through our dreams – grab hold of our vision – and choose to start living the life we want to create.
Getting there can indeed be a challenge. It’s okay. It’s supposed to be. As the old Epictetus says, As concerns the art of living, the material is your own life. No great thing is created suddenly. There must be time.
Seeing beyond the daily grind – above and beyond to the life you want to create – starts by appreciating what you’ve got right now.
Care take this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. It is time to really live and fully inhabit the situation you are in right now. – Epictetus
Embrace the now we you are living in. Relish what you’ve have been given right now. See this season, this family, this location – as the trust you’ve been given to relish, to pour into, and to enjoy.
And as you relish the moments of today – let your heart dream of tomorrow’s possibilities.
Many blessings, Alexis