Do you ever have times where you really miss being a kid? Of course you do! Who wouldn’t? For most of us, being a kid was awesome. My biggest worry was whether or not the ice-cream truck was going to come by my house today or not, or if it was going to rain because my mom wouldn’t let me go play outside in fear of catching a cold. My biggest challenge was to be old enough to ride my bike all over the neighborhood and not just on my street. No bills, no job, no real responsibilities except what was expected of me around the house. It was a blissful time in our lives right? But we can’t live there forever. Life wasn’t designed that way. Though we lie to ourselves that there is hope, don’t we? The fountain of youth is sought after by explorers all throughout history, clinging to the hope that it might be more than a myth. We all look for our own little fountains of youth in our lives too, I think. We all hope we can find things to cling to, things that make us feel young, things that make us feel eternal. Why is that?
We spend so much time focusing on our past, that we forget about the present. Sometimes we focus too much on the future as well. The present is always the most neglected period in our lives, and yet the most important. I constantly feel robbed of the present, and I’m the only one to blame. There’s always so much to do, so much to worry about, so much to accomplish. And sometimes I just let myself get in the way and get the better of me and I lose touch with reality. Depression is a bit scary like that sometimes. But never the less, the clock keeps ticking. Time passes, and what “is” becomes “what once was.” Every moment is fleeting, every beautiful and good thing fades. We let it go like it was nothing special, but everything should be special. Someone very close to me told me she sometimes feels the need to remind herself that life is fragile, that life itself is fleeting. She told me sometimes before she crosses the street and she sees a bus coming, she’ll stand as close to the edge of the street as she can, so that she can feel the wind as the huge chunk of metal on wheels flies past her. She wants to feel the rush of life. She’s trying to feel alive again. At first, I thought she was crazy. I thought she needed some serious help. But after a little bit of time I started to understand that mindset. I think we all do things sometimes, reckless things, in the search to feel alive again. We want to make life worth living. You see, what my friend was getting at, is that she wanted to know that in that moment she could die and it would be nothing, it would be effortless. Life can be gone so quickly. She wanted a reason to cherish the fact that she was still breathing. I can’t help but wonder how many of us do things similar to this sometimes, and just don’t tell anyone because we’re afraid people would think we’re crazy? How many of us have done things we now regret, simply because we were searching for something that would make us feel alive again? We were longing for that feeling that reaffirms to us that life is precious, worth cherishing. That feeling that makes us want to grab the ones we love and never let them go. In essence, what we are actually doing is romanticizing life. We see this in movies all the time. Those big moments where the main character overcomes all the odds to achieve something no one thought was possible. Maybe that’s why I love movies so much. I long to believe in a world where achieving the impossible is, in fact, possible. I love to escape this empty world and live, if only for a couple of hours, in a pithy, rich, vivid world, where most things are black and white. You either get the girl or you don’t. You save the world, or you don’t. You make that trek across the great divide, either literal or figurative, and go against all odds, and come out of the other side a new person, full of culture and vigor for life.
I’ve always loved super-hero movies. I’ve always known why too. I love super-hero movies because they always have exactly what I long for in life. There’s always a character who is special. This character can achieve what no one else can. With that ability comes this responsibility, not just for the ones he loves, but for everyone around him. Everyone counts on him to be the person that will take care of them in their time of need, and he won’t disappoint. There’s always a girl, she seems enamored with him from the beginning, but it will be a slow process to that final hollywood kiss at the end. There will be a point in the story where he is broken, beaten down, with a lack of confidence that he can achieve what needs to be done. There’s always that sub-character that will be there in some context, urging him to continue on, to do what needs to be done, even at the potential cost of his very life. He picks himself up and overcomes all the odds to save the world, get the girl, and live happily ever after.
There’s obvious reasons why millions of people buy tickets to see this type of movie every time one is released multiple times a year. We long to be a part of a story that has success. Lets face it, most of our lives are filled with much more failure than success. Even more, our generation of people have lost touch of what it means to actually work for anything in life, therefore giving up on any responsibility. You see, the problem with wishing we were back in our childhood is, it reveals that part of us that never wants to grow up. That isn’t necessarily a problem, unless that part of us that never wants to grow up is more the majority of what makes up who we are. Wanting to escape the daily pressures of life isn’t necessarily bad, but it can become something that consumes us and forces us to neglect the things that matter most.
God sends us through this life for many reasons I think. One of these reasons is because when we hopefully have the privilege of reaching old age, and we are lying on our death bed, we look back on our lives, filled with wisdom and experience, and can confidently tell people that we ran the race. We finished strong, we lived a life worth living. There’s crucial characteristics we gain through time and experience that only time can give us. I believe these characteristics are important to God. Its why He gave us an expiration date, and for most of us, He didn’t do it at age 30.
I hope that I am able to overcome the obstacles of my life, against all the odds. I hope that in the end, I get the girl. I hope one day I get to be the strong super-hero, whether thats being the dad who’s always there, always protecting, always providing, always loving. I hope that my life means something in the end. I want to be a part of a story more important than I could ever dream up on my own. I want to see beautiful sunsets. I want to experience the life of today, for tomorrow it will all be gone…never to return.
Today is a beautiful day. I think I’ll go outside.