“Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Tim Kizziar
So often we become so consumed with the business of the day-to-day stuff – school, work, events, etc. – that we simply pass by beauty. This beauty envelops our very existence, but we fail to recognize its significance. When speaking of beauty, I mean not just the physical world in which we live, but also the people who fill that world with their laughter, tears, and song (the colors that are constantly used to repaint and redefine our world). Both forms of beauty serve as constant reminders of the grandeur and intricacy of the epic story we have been placed into.
St. Irenaus said that “the glory of God is a human being fully alive.” Not a human being who gets to every meeting on time or has 5,700 twitter followers (which I’m only about 5,700 followers short of), but one who is fully alive. So what does it mean to live “fully alive?” Well, that is exactly what I aim to find out. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the answer will lie within the beauties – the physical world and those who color it. I don’t have any clue how this whole journey is going to play out. And those are often the best of journeys.
If St. Irenaus is correct, then it is my obligation to figure it out. And if living fully is God’s greatest glory, then who am I not to try to seek for it like a wanderer longing for an oasis in the desert? Our human tendency is to try to get the most out of something. For example, when you pick up your new Iphone (or whatever the “next big thing” is) from the store, we don’t ask “what is the least that I can get out of it?” or “how can I use it ineffectively?” No, we want to know everything we can do to utilize it. We want to utilize each and every gigabyte of memory to get the utmost fulfillment from it. So we ask people questions about their Iphone or watch YouTube tutorials. When the newest and greatest app or update comes along, we download it immediately. Why? We are driven towards effectiveness. It is written in our DNA. And it is there for a purpose, a homing beacon to drive us towards a greater plan.
So this summer I am going to reboot my system – physically, intellectually, and spiritually –, embrace the beauty that has been cultivated around me, and find out what it means to be “fully alive.” A professor once told me that C.S. Lewis used writing not as a way to demonstrate knowledge he already had mastered, but rather as a way of learning. And it was through this process of writing that he came to understanding. So this blog will be my Lewisian journey towards understanding. I’m hoping to not have any run-ins with Orcs or crazy demon eyes out there, but I am certainly looking for a few Sam’s to join me along the path. It’s time to succeed at those things that really matter; the world needs us to.