Alarm buzzes. I hit sleep. Five minutes later it goes off again. I hit sleep again, this time with a bit more annoyance. It happens again. And again. About the third or fourth time I give in.
Its a new day.
The sun is slowly rising. The room is slowly becoming lighter.
My feet touch the cold hard wood floor and I’m up.
First step, first.
Contacts, brush teeth…coffee…
That is as far as my thought process goes.
Soon I will be in a caffeine fueled rush to get out the door, and another day will begin. Just like the last. And work will be work. Then lunch will come and go, and a few hours later I will be headed home, for another evening of activity or lack thereof, before crashing and doing it all over again.
Why do I write this?
Because this is the passing of time.
And as we all know, time IS our most valuable resource and something we cannot get back.
So what do we do with our limited time?
Many of us continue to live in this cycle of day in and day out - with the days circling through like a merry-go-round.
Some of us though, notice the spinning - and rather than accept it, try to find a way off the merry-go-round.
So what do we want instead?
We want our life to be like a path of wonder and beauty. Of exploration. Of endless days. Of new experiences.
Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not avoiding hard work or the “harsh reality” that is life (as many people like to remind us).
Rather, we are looking for another way.
We are looking to find that passion that causes us to launch out of bed and be willing to work until the wee hours of the morning without the whisper of a complaint.
Sure it will be hard. We will be tired. We will have our incredible highs and lows. But we also know it will be worth it - because we are off the merry-go-round of merely existing.
So how do we do this? How do we find this ever elusive thing called a calling?
I believe it lies in our ability to be self-aware.
Do you know what following your gut instinct feels like? Have you been listening to your instinct - what God has been telling you - or have you been ignoring it? Have you even given yourself a moment to be quiet and truthful with yourself?
Jeff Goins says in his blog,
“Your life is a mystery, and your job is to study it. Through prayer, meditation, or simple reflection, we all must become more self-aware. This is the only way we can stop letting life happen to us and become more active participants in it.”
When we ignore that ‘gut feeling’ - and many of us do - it can be painful when we finally do stop and listen, because it often tells us things we don’t want to hear or things we have been ignoring.
However, when we are in line with our intuition there is no greater feeling.
It doesn’t mean that things are perfect.
From personal experience, there have been moments when I knew that something was off - even moments when I knew exactly what the problem was.
Sometimes it was my fault and I continued to ignore the nagging feeling until it came bursting to the surface.
Other times it has been more subtle. I knew what was wrong but couldn’t change it right away. So rather than ignore the feeling, I recognized it and started the long process of making a change, even if it wasn’t immediate.
This ability to be self-aware and to pray gives us the sense to know when something is right or wrong for us - even when the rest of the world disagrees.
It gives us the insight to turn down that job offer despite what everyone is saying.
It gives us the confidence to return to school and this time study fine art because you just know that that is what you are supposed to be doing.
It gives us the ability to make the decision to uproot a life that looks amazing to the outsider and choose instead to live in a rural village without basic necessities and work with an organization like the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders because it makes your soul come alive.
It means we have a sense of what we should be doing.
It means we have the ability to write our own story.
I believe we all have this ability hidden deep within us and God gives each of us purpose. We just need to spend the time to uncover it.
We all know when something feels right or when it feels wrong - even when it is the opposite of what others tell us.
Unfortunately distractions today are easier to come by than ever, so it is increasingly easy to ignore our own gut instinct.
I sometimes wonder what would happen to American society if everyone was forced away from their chosen distractions…
Would people become more aware? Would there be a sudden shift towards increased consciousness? Would we find more people challenging the status quo for something better? Something different?
If we all have the voice of God guiding us throughout our lives, then it just becomes a matter of whether or not we are listening.
If we ignore it, life can still be good. We can live in a great place, have a family, learn a skill, become a master in that skill and become “successful”. But will our souls be satisfied?
If we listen, we could end up anywhere doing anything and it may not be the “stable” normal life that has become the norm in our world or it may be just that. But if my soul is satisfied and I know I have followed Gods path for my life - that will make it worth it, 100 times over.
So today, give yourself a few minutes without distractions and pray or meditate silently. Allow your inner voice to speak. See what it tells you. And rather than ignore it, start to listen and take what you hear into consideration.
Are you listening?