I have been intending to update my web site. I have been intending to update my blog. I found myself awake at 1 am and at 3 am have still not been able to get back to sleep. So I came upstairs to continue reading a book I began a couple days ago. I bought it a while ago – not sure how long it had been collecting dust on my shelf, but I heard Erwin McManus speak again on Life Today last week and remembered I had his book on my shelf. I opened to where I left off a couple days ago:
“Fear is like a leprosy that eats away at our souls, and it will lead us to build fortresses that look like security and safety. Fear convinces us that we have locked out the dangers that would befall us, all the while blinding us to the fact that it hasn’t locked the world out at all. Instead, fear has trapped us inside itself. It was never a fortress; it has always been a prison.”
These words rivet me. Fear (in all its forms) has has taken more from me than I can possibly know. This epiphany is powerful. But there’s much more: “When we step out of death into life, there’s no waiting for daylight. To hide what we have found, to hoard what we have been freely given would be the greatest crime, an incurable leprosy of the soul. If for no other reason, we need to choose our most heroic lives, because the world desperately needs to see what it looks like to be fully alive. You and I, we need proof of life to find life and now we must be proof of life to those desperately searching for it.”
As I continue to read, I am aware of anger, determination and a renewed motivation for everything: “…you need to stop waiting for someone to make your life count. You need to act. You need to act as if your life depends on it, because it does. Life is action. Only the dead lie still…You need to realize that whatever choices you make, no matter how much you accomplish, one thing is certain: all our lives will end. …Will you choose to live, or will you just lie there until death takes you? …what is at stake is so much more than just you. …Too many of us act as though we have all the time in the world, while the world is desperately running out of time. … When you act like your life depends on it, you will discover that your life was never intended to be only about you. … The tragedy of a life that is never fully lived is not solely the loss of that one life. The tragedy is the endless number of lives that would have been forever changed if we had chosen to live differently. … Stop bemoaning your circumstances. Stop drowning in your despair. Stop using your present crisis as an excuse to shrink back from the challenge before you. … We are all connected. We need to act as though our lives depend on it, because everything is connected and everything we do matters. … Your actions have momentum. …if you settle for what is because what you long for demands too much of you, then this thing called life will always seem elusive to you. Existence is a slow death; mediocrity is like quicksand that slowly consumes you and sucks the life out of you.” These words, from Erwin McManus’s book The Last Arrow are a wake up call when I thought I wanted to be sleeping. A renewal of urgency, of purpose, of determination to more than just “make my life matter”, but to be a source of that knowledge – that YOUR life matters! – to as many people as I can before I take my last breath, however long or short a period of time that is.
My last blog entry – in spite of all my “intentions” of weekly entries – was June 12, three and a half MONTHS ago. Three family deaths, one summer and I don’t know how many choices to procrastinate ago. How many social media posts, how many hours of television, how many offences did I take and distractions did I substitute for actually living the life I am meant to be living?
Today is a new day. It may be my last day this side of eternity. I want to live free of fear. Free of mediocrity. Free of procrastination. Free of mindless, self-preserving , self-distracting activity that passes for living. I strongly encourage you to read The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus. Soak it in. LIVE the life you were created to live by helping others live the life THEY are created to live. LIVE your LIFE! Ready Set GO!