I've always had big dreams--from my very earliest memories, I knew I wanted to do something great. I've gone through dozens of possible career options (at one point I was convinced that God wanted me to be an astronaut, though I thank God that He didn't actually want me to pursue that...), but the overwhelming passion behind my desire to do something big has never diminished.
I believe that now, at the age of nineteen, I am pretty sure what direction God wants me to take on this crazy journey called life. And it's not some cut and dry thing like I thought it would be--it's going to be messy, involved, probably painful, but I am more sure now than I ever have been about what God wants me to do with my life.
I'm going to create things. For Him. For other people. Writing, songs, art in general... Creations that will glorify God and touch other people's lives. But this is all a tangent. It's not what I'm here to talk about.
Sometimes, even though I have these dreams, even though I know God wants me to follow those dreams... I get distracted.
There always seem to be those things that are more pressing. Things that demand my time and attention, things that seem just as important as any dream when I'm faced with them. Sometimes those things are important, and I should be paying attention to them, but more and more frequently I've let these things--the normal, everyday living--get in the way of living a life of purpose and meaning. I need to have focus. I need to be so driven on living my life for God and for others that everything I do is done through that filter.
No more getting by. No more being lazy. No more doing only the minimum necessary to pass. I need to live. I need to look at every task as a challenge, a chance to honor God and serve others in a way that will change the world, if only by a small margin. One of the ways I remember to live like this is because of the people in my life who constantly inspire me to be more than I am.
My parents, who have always told me to do everything with excellence, and have always tried to do that themselves, not just with the big things, but with every little situation that has ever come up in their lives. My parents are not idle, they don't half-heartedly do things. If they take up a task, they do it right. They learn what they need to learn, they do what they need to do, they try to the very best of their ability to complete something with excellence, and you might say that's rubbed off on me a little bit.
My brothers, who continue to inspire and challenge me with the way they live out their faith. Connor with his unshakable faith and conviction. Chase with his unending servitude and friendship to those around him. They humble me and test me and point me towards God more often than they could ever know. Connor and I have had many a conversation where I was being lazy or being a jerk and he has challenged me with God's Word and made me realize my mistake. And I believe I've done the same for him.
My friends. I have a lot of them, and they all inspire me, every single last one of them. The more I get to know people, the more I realize how much there is to know about people. To quote Gandalf: "You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you in a pinch." I am constantly learning, being challenged, inspired, convicted, tested, and amazed by my friends. People have so much to teach, if you are willing to listen. I love hearing about people's dreams, their desires, what makes them tick. And this in turn inspires me to reach out, to live big, to be a better person, if for no other reason than to join this multitude of dreamers and explorers who want to change their world for the better.
In closing, thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life. I guarantee that you have inspired me in some way or another during my time knowing you. Everyone has something to share, something to teach, and most often the lesson I learn is that life is short, and dreams do not just magically come true. You have to work for them.
And so, I will look to the next page of the narrative. That in itself inspires me. The adventure. The journey of life that I get to go through with God and the wonderful people I know on this Earth. Living inspires me. I too easily forget how enchanting and special a single day can be. It takes days like Tuesday, March 24th, to make me realize that life isn't about getting by. It's about giving your all.
You all inspire me. Thank you for that.