Category Archives: Lessons

Are We Ready?

“Somebody has to start. Somebody has to step forward and do what is right, because it is right.” – Dalinar Kholin, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

We all fail sometimes. Right? Or is it just me who never seems to live up to who I should be?

I messed up yesterday. I crossed a line that I shouldn’t have. I did something that was wrong – and that I knew was wrong – all because I wanted something.

How disgustingly selfish.

It wasn’t some horrifying crime. Not according to the arbitrary scale we use to weigh severity of wrongness. I didn’t murder or rape anybody. I didn’t even steal something.

I lied.

I didn’t technically even say anything untrue. I simply didn’t divulge all the information I possessed. A little white lie. That’s all it was.

And that’s what pisses me off.

Because if I can’t be trusted with the little things, why should I ever be trusted with big things?

I don’t know if this is common or not, but I have always felt like I was put here on earth – in this time, in this place – to do great and terrible things. Not terrible as we would use the word, but as Tolkien would. Worldshaking things. Things that make people feel Atlas give a mighty heave beneath them. I am here to move mountains, and I will someday.

“When I think of destiny, I don’t think of a predetermined fate you can’t escape, but rather some sort of final goal. Something you work towards your entire life.” – Pyrrha Nikos, RWBY

Pyrrha NikosBut sometimes I wonder. Why has it not begun yet? Why has the ability to shake the world not entered my grasp? I’m ready. I feel ready. I put in the work, I strive daily to be the best man I can be, and I want it. I want it so bad it makes me clench up inside. I want to change things for people, to make this place better in drastic ways. I know I’m destined for it. Why am I still denied the pebble I need to start an avalanche?

And I think I know the answer now: I don’t deserve it.

With great power comes great responsibility. It’s ridiculously cliche, but that doesn’t make it untrue. The power to change things is terrifying and should be entrusted only with overwhelming caution. That’s something we (as humans) have clearly forgotten.

But God hasn’t, and I’m grateful. Perhaps He doesn’t just want me to change things. He wants me to change things for the good.

At the end of the day, I don’t think either He or I can be sure that’s what will happen if I am afforded that destiny right now.

I can’t be trusted with it yet. I’m too broken and selfish to handle it well. That sucks, but it’s also fortunate. There are few things more terrifying than a man receiving power he’s not ready for. I knew the lie was wrong and I did it anyway. It was just an insignificant, tiny, infantile evil. But…

If we can’t be trusted with the small things, we can’t be trusted with the big things.

It’s that simple and that difficult.

So let’s try to be better. Every day. Not because we might get a payoff in the future, but because it is right. We’re human, and we’re going to mess up. But if we keep reaching for the vision, keep struggling to become that glittering ideal we always wished we could be, maybe someday we’ll look in a mirror and realize that’s who we’ve become.

Am I the only one who often let’s themselves down? Do you have a vision of who you’d like to be? Why can’t we ever seem to get there? Share your words of wisdom below.


Feeling Alive…and the Leonid Meteor Shower

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

“In twenty years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did.” – Mark Twain

Last night, I had the opportunity to watch the Leonid Meteor Shower. The meteors were a bit of a bust (I only saw two shooting stars), but it was definitely worthwhile. The wind was calm, the air was chill, the stars were like tiny, shining torches set into an immense, cosmic dome, and I found a sort of inner serenity. (Yes, even at two in the morning!)

I almost decided to skip it and get a good night’s sleep instead. I might have woken this morning, refreshed, drank my coffee, and went about my customary routine of a typical day.

I’m so glad I didn’t. I would have missed out on a breathtaking experience.

It is important, I think, for us to consciously go about life looking for ways to really live. Not follow our usual, humdrum patterns, or stick stubbornly to the monotony of that which is familiar. In your final hours, are you going to be satisfied that you managed to get in a lot of extra overtime? Or that you coasted through days, weeks, or months at a time in a familiar rut of efficient, but mind-numbing, activities?

No! You’re going to remember the times that you felt alive.

Take the time to go out and experience the wonder of the stars, or go skydiving, or scuba diving, or camping in the wilderness for three days with nothing but a knife and a blanket. Help someone who could use a hand, strive to learn a new skill, or spend quality time with your family. Do something that breaks the tedium. Do things – hard things, exciting things, challenging things, reflective things, peaceful things. Go experience something that makes you feel like you’ve never been more alive.

Life’s an adventure, people, but only if you make it one. The finite amount of time that you spend here will either be a worthwhile journey or dull pattern, and the result is entirely up to you.