Are You Enjoying Life?!?!?! That is the question I recently asked of myself. Was I enjoying life or had life merely become the compilation of a series of tasks on today's to-do list. Like you, I had work, church, social and family obligations that consumed significant portions of my time. And for the most part, I enjoyed doing these things. However, for some reason, I could not answer that question with a resounding YES. There was something missing.
Emotionally, I was not trapped in the ruthless jaws of depression. On the other hand, I was not excited about getting up every day and starting the process of checking off items on my to-do list either. Something was missing.
I had been in a similar mental place before. As a 23 year old sergeant in the US Army, I walked around asking everyone "what is the meaning of life?" Why do we get up every day, go to work, come home, spend a minute amount of time with family and friends, go to bed and then get up and start the cyclical constraining process all over again. At that point in my life, I was looking for purpose which I found when I gave my life to our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. But this mental place was different.
I was not in search of purpose but peace in the form of balance. I was looking for someone to take the gigantic boulders of pressure off of my back and evenly distribute them in nice neat manageable segments. I wanted the joys of success as well as the joys of life at the same time.
Unfortunately, I was experiencing more of the pressure of succeeding than the joys of either success or life. I was in a rut.
As a society, we have debated rather the journey or the destination is more important. This experience has taught me that both are equally important. Sure I wanted to accomplish my employment, spiritual and family goals but not at the expense of my personal joy. Life is too short to end up at the pearly gates with a U-Haul truck full of accomplishments and a little red wagon full of joyful memories. There has to be balance. As my 5 year old daughter enthusiastically blurted out one day "We have to work hard and play hard".
So let me ask you the question; are you enjoying life? Are you taking the time to do the things that bring joy to your heart? Whether that is sports related, cooking, video games, traveling, reading books…, are you carving out time in your schedule to enjoy life? As the scripture states, Jesus has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
In his famous ESPY (ESPN Awards Show, think Grammys for Sports) speech, Jimmy Valvano stated the following about life
To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.
My wife and I intend to take Jimmy V's advice. While chasing our dreams, there have been times in which we have been so focused on scaling the mountain that we forgot about enjoying the journey or each other. Sure, we want to remain goal oriented. However, the primary focus of our 2014 and beyond is "Enjoying Life Together". Will you join us?