Thriving or Surviving

Every day you wake up and breathe, it is another opportunity to do something legen — wait for it — dary.

But we don’t really think of it that way.  I suppose if I were to interview a thousand very honest people and ask them about the first thing they think of when they wake up probably a great number would say coffee or the big meeting that day or the vacation coming up or any number of things.  I very much doubt very many would answer, “I’d like to make today legendary.”  In fact, most people are just trying to survive the day, I’d wager, rather than trying to thrive in it.

Why do we that?

I believe several individuals are just trying to survive life as a whole until something better comes along.  And that’s sad to say.  Here we are in a world so creatively painted by the Creator, with so many interesting things to see and do, so many things to achieve, so many pure and true moments to be had.  Here we are — eking through, just kind of getting to the next awesome moment only to grieve when that selfsame moment ends.

What do we do about it?

We can admit that we have the problem.  I, for one, am an anticipation junkie.  I love looking forward to things.  But I confess it is also what I cling to when I don’t like my present set of circumstances.  I’ll go so far as to say that I’ve looked forward on several occasions to putting our children to bed for the night just so I don’t have to deal with the noise and chaos of them simply being children.  That’s pretty awful (go on, you can judge me).  But I admit who I am.  And I think having that self-awareness is also what can lead to change.

How can I change?

Figure out why you don’t like your present set of circumstances.  Maybe there is a predominant stressor in your life — finances, job, bad habits, etc.  If you’re not thriving (and I don’t mean that everyone becomes rich and loves his job and quits all bad habits), then you need to reconsider the landscape of your life.  Also, consider whether you’re assigning too much meaning in your life to your finances, job, bad habits, etc.  Do you live only for the next paycheck so you can blow it at the movies, restaurants, mall, or casino?  Do you only feel good at your job when you’re being praised or when you’re getting a promotion — is that all you’re working for?  Do you live for that next cigarette, that next bender, that next gorge of chocolate fondu, that next huge dish of pasta that you’ll regret hours later? Try to assign importance where it belongs.

Recently, I’ve felt a compulsion toward illustration.  Actually, it’s been a compulsion most of my life. I’ve been seeking God’s guidance about how to approach it, what doors might open, how I might employ and grow my skills to do something awesome for Him.  In truth, it’s not the illustration that’s important — rather doing it for Him that I find most important.  Moreover, I am confident that when I begin to thrive in working to glorify the Father that I go beyond surviving life.  The days don’t seem so long.  The vacations are enjoyable, but are not the highlight of the year — I love when they begin and don’t mind when they end (well, honestly, there’s always a little remorse there, but nothing overwhelming).

Everybody talks about doing what you love.  I think that’s awesome.  I don’t think it’s a great reason to just quit your job at the drop of a hat — maybe for some, not for most.  I think doing what you love is not about doing the THING that you love, but rather doing it for the One that gave you the purpose.  We live in a world where people are very interested in finding out why they are here. Great — but most miss out on that because they are looking for it in the wrong place.  I think that’s the difference between doing something good and doing something legendary.

What would Monday morning look like if the first thin you were looking forward to wasn’t Friday afternoon?

 

 

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