Are You On Autopilot?
Many times, when people experience loss or tragedies occur, it is said that life is “put into perspective.” The monotony of the day-to-day is broken by grief and sadness, and even anger and regret. These emotions can often cause a strong desire to break out of the mold of the every day and to begin to experience life with greater zeal and joy. New pursuits may begin abruptly or old dreams may come again rising to the surface, demanding to be explored. What if though, instead of needing a bad thing to “jolt” us out of the reverie of banality, we chose to live in a way that was more authentic and beneficial all the time? This doesn’t have to be some strange and foreign concept, or a mode of life possible only for those who live in leisure. It is within reach for us all.
There are many different reasons that life can lull us into a sense of boredom, of routine, this feeling that our lives (or work, etc.) just don’t matter or make an impact. That our relative size to the rest of the world means we are not significant. But we cannot allow this to happen as it only causes detriment to our purpose and feelings of worth. The best case scenario when this happens is when we seek out new activities, purposes, or ideas that can jump-start our passions again. It can be easy to forget how even one or two new pursuits or old dreams newly followed can re-invigorate our sense of purpose and give us fuel to live boldly and with great influence.
We must make the choice to flip the switch from lackadaisical to intentional; from passive reaction to active movement in a chosen direction. This is not something that magically happens overnight. Each person is different, but we must all set goals with realistic and measurable steps in order to get anywhere requiring growth. We must be certain that our goals line up with our values to prevent any further sense of “disconnection”. And this may sound counterintuitive, but we must plan for mistakes and failure along the way; and how to properly process and learn from them. Too many people with great gifting have missed their calling because they were never instructed on how to handle the inevitable setbacks that real change can bring.
No matter what the pursuit, I think we can all agree we give the most of ourselves when we are truly and fully present in a situation. When we can tune out the outside buzz that demands to lull and distract and we can really focus in on the thing of importance. It really does not matter if it is relational time, work time, time off, time spent in worship, or in any other real, soul-feeding activity. We do our absolute best work when we trim away the unimportant things in favor of the ones that will bring the real benefits to ourselves and those around us. Think about what you want your legacy to be, how you would like to be remembered. Then take active, intentional steps to make that a reality.