Progress

It’s strange how you can look back on the past year and realize that the things that held the least value were the ones that took the majority of your time. How does that happen? Is it wrong, or is that just the way life goes?

As I’ve grown, I’ve seen men become shadows of their former selves – devoid of any passion for life. It’s like they just got…stuck or something. They were doing life, but not really living it. I would later attribute this to a loss of purpose, but would describe it as a conscious decision. It wasn’t like flipping a switch though – it wasn’t just one decision. I’d see men walking around like robots who, when they got home from work, didn’t have anything left for their families. I knew that this didn’t happen overnight. I knew that it was the result of hundreds of decisions they had made every day.

When I was in college, I was really living. Weren’t we all? A normal day entailed waking up around 9am and going to classes, then journaling at a coffee shop downtown for about six hours, then going to worship practice, then to a Bible study. I never felt more alive, and I swore nothing would ever change, because in my mind, it wouldn’t need to. I knew that I would have a job and a family and stuff, but how much would that really change? It’s the kind of naivety that causes married people to think that after they have children they’ll still be able to stay out until 10pm or travel or eat nice meals or drink their coffee while it’s still hot, or hell – even shower. Life was easy in college. I could taunt life because I was in the shark cage. I vowed to never let life steal my passion. And it didn’t – until a few years ago.

Turns out I wasn’t even wrong. I still believe that we have conscious decisions to make every day in order to keep our passion. I still believe that we have to be purposeful. What I wasn’t prepared for though, was the struggle. I’ve realized now that robot mode is our default setting, and it takes deliberate effort to avoid it. I’m not saying that’s how God created us or anything, just that it’s the path of least resistance. I fell into the trap partly because I got so caught up in doing the daily activities that I forgot the larger picture. I brought a knife to a gun fight.

Granted, there are things we have to do. However, there are also things that we need to do, and unfortunately in my case, they were the first to go. Usually, we end up doing what we have to do, followed by what we should do. If we are lucky enough to have some time for what we NEED to do, it usually ends up futile. Take me for example. I ended up staring at a blinking cursor on those occasions. I didn’t have anything left. My priorities were all out of whack and it was seriously affecting myself and my family. Recently, I’ve made a decision to get more deliberate about my life. It’s not going to get any easier, and since I’ve tried to handle it myself and failed, I think it’s time to surrender. Leave it to Jesus to make surrender the one sure way to victory.

I’m going through this great exercise over the next eight weeks or so, which should reveal a lot about my attributes and characteristics, giving me some insight about myself so that I can have a plan for my future. I’m curious to see if my strengths and weaknesses are what I think they will be. Whatever the case, it’s going to be progress – and that my friends, is something I’ve been waiting for.

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