and to feel

TO SEE THE WORLD, THINGS DANGEROUS TO COME TO, TO SEE BEHIND WALLS, DRAW CLOSER, TO FIND EACH OTHER AND TO FEEL. THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE.

“I don’t like Jack Johnson,” my brother said to me as we were in the drive-thru at Dairy Queen. “Well . . . I do. But he makes me feel things.” I laughed at him a little bit, pulled forward, and traded the cashier dollar bills for a Chips Ahoy Blizzard and a hot fudge sundae. “It’s true, though. Even his happy songs. It makes me think a lot.”

“Do you want me to switch the song?” I asked him.

“No. Keep it on. I like it.”

Tonight I showed the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to my family. As the credits began to roll across the screen, my brother had the same look on his face as he did when we listened to Jack Johnson. He was thinking. Thinking hard.

Why do we do things that hurt? Why don’t we just do things that are safe? Life would be easier if we stayed in our comfort zones, in our safe little bubbles. But that’s not what makes life enjoyable.

I’ve been spending the past year or so reflecting on my story. What makes me “me”? How did I get to be the way that I am today? I’ll tell you this: the things that shape my life most are not the afternoons I spent in my bed scrolling through Pinterest. They are not the moments when I said “Maybe next year,” to an opportunity that came my life. And they are not the moments when I walked right past people who were hurting.

The moments in my life that make up who I am today are the moments that made me think, feel, and experience life fully.  The ones where I drove my car to the middle-of-no-where to scream at the top of my lungs because I was so happy. The ones where I cried on my bathroom floor because my heart hurt so much. The ones where I got on a plane and had no idea what was coming my way. The ones where I chose to sit and have a conversation with someone I didn’t really know. The ones where I walked into an interview, unsure as to whether or not I would be hired.

Life isn’t about being safe. If that’s what you want, then you’re missing out on so much. When you explore, open closed doors, learn about others and expose emotions is when you begin to live life in its entirety.

So when the “Jack Johnson moments” come your way, don’t change the song. Understand and accept the fact that God uses these moments to mold us into who He created us to be. Don’t be afraid to grab the moment in your hands, look it in the eyes, and begin to be changed by it.

walter

. . . and if you haven’t seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty . . . run as fast as you can to you nearest Redbox and watch it.

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