Are You Ready For It?
Thomas Merton wrote, “There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” “There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant, and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain or Lazarus.” Go up into the gaps. If you can find them, they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”
I believe in taking every moment that you have on this earth and using that moment to its full potential.
I think it’s important to live life with the mindset that you could die tomorrow.
Take every opportunity that comes your way, and wake up each morning excited to make a difference, no matter how small.
The above quote fully resounded with me. Thomas Merton felt the temptation that we all, whether we realize it or not, struggle with: to take life slowly, as if we have all the time in the world, to settle for mediocre and be okay with being, just, okay. Average.
Why do we choose to plod slowly down the path of life; instead of striving head-first, ignoring all distractions, if we hold the realization that we’re not promised tomorrow?
I believe in living life to the fullest and utilizing every moment of my time to the very best. When I choose not to waste time, I’m deciding to step into the gap that’s been provided for me. The gaps are the gateways to the greatest of the great and the highest of highs that are within reach if only we would reach.
So why are we choosing to step aside from taking the initiative and control of the situation or even our entire life? Why are we choosing to step away from the gap? We complain about our miserable lives, not willing to admit that our situation is entirely our fault. Your life is yours. Anything that happens is yours to deal with, yours to enjoy. Then why do we sit around and grumble about our lot in life? Why do we continue to mumble our regrets to the sad, grey sidewalk beneath our feet?
Lately, I’ve felt unmotivated, I would much rather crawl straight through the tunnel instead of dirtying my hands searching for the gaps in the walls. I’ve felt unproductive and lost, and I couldn’t figure out why.
I didn’t know why I was no longer loving and enjoying life. I was hanging out with friends more, relaxing, taking it easy. And then it hit me. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled because I wasn’t putting time into doing things that satisfied me. I was letting the rest of life take over, wasting time making hay, instead of pushing myself to create something that mattered.
The choice became mine to make. I had to decide how I was going to spend each afternoon. I had to take the initiative. No one could decide for me. I had to take a deep breath and set goals for myself. I couldn’t wait for anyone else to push me to become better. I had to dive into the gaps by myself, alone, if need be.
Your life is one giant countdown.
It’s your choice whether or not you’re going to make it worth it. You decide to make something of yourself and change the world or to regret the fact that you never explored the world for yourself.
You only have one life, so maybe we should be living it to its fullest.
I know people say that a lot, but they’re saying it because it’s true. Take a step in the million directions there are.
There’s no reason to sulk, no reason to raise tomatoes. Go up into the gaps.
Do something with your life this afternoon.