There are specific moments that remind us how fast life is going. A graduation, significant birthdays, a health scare, and major life transitions to name a few. Its in those moments that we ask ourselves, “where has the time gone? How did I get myself here? Where is all of this heading?"
Last week my family and I embarked on a new chapter: my oldest son started Kindergarten. He strapped on his backpack, hopped on his scooter, and made his way down the street to school.
As we walked with him I was emotional thinking about the last 5 years. The time we had as a family. The time he didn’t have to worry about social pressure, long days, and homework. I looked back at the freedom we had for vacation and slow mornings. I thought about how his imagination would take him all over the world, with characters no one would understand but him.
Life is going so fast. How do we make sense of what to do moving forward? Often times major life transitions and big decisions can be debilitating. They can stop us in our tracks.
It's in those moments you have to look back to see forward.
We have all heard it said it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. But is that true?
When I think of our culture, we do a great job rewarding those who have accomplished a lot. We tend to envy people who have new cars or big houses. We gawk over people’s vacations on social media. Even promotions are given to those who outwardly perform the best in their companies. If what matters most is what’s on the inside, our world isn’t doing a great job reinforcing that.
The truth about those accomplishments is they don’t fulfill us unless the outward success is congruent with our internal desires and motivation.
One of, if not the most, significant characteristics of this generation will be the vast amount of choices we have in life. Every day we wake up with the ability to shape our day, choose our direction, choose our relationships, and choose our experiences. And like a writer staring at a blank document waiting for inspiration, we can become debilitated by the choices piling on our shoulders.
To combat the amount of energy it takes to make a significant decision, I use a filter that allows me to make wise choices at a fast pace. These are 4 questions designed to match up with my values and the way I want to spend the one life I have.
Is this going to be life-giving or life-draining?
Bonnie Tyler taught us a powerful life lesson when she wrote, “I need a hero. Im holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong, and he’s gotta fast, and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.” It’s inevitable that at some point in our life we will get stuck and need help to move forward. But do we really need a hero?
The protagonist of nearly every story is the hero on a journey. The greater the journey, the greater the obstacles. Those obstacles trip up, slow down, and discourage the hero, but what they don’t need in those moments in another hero to swoop in and save the day. The story isn’t about that. What our hero needs is a guide. Someone who comes in at a moment of desperation to provide support, to encourage, to train, to challenge, and to call the hero to greatness when they feel their weakest.
When my son turned 4 years old, he made a significant step into middle childhood: the exciting world of Lego collections. Pairing that with his new found love for all things superheroes, we bought him some simple Lego vehicles that he could build and play with. But as you know, being 4 does not come with an innate ability to follow directions, put miniature pieces together and produce the desired result. Thankfully I was a Lego-obsessed child and was looking forward to this day from the moment we found out we were pregnant.
The plan was simple: I read the instructions, tell him what to do, and the project would be completed in minutes. Not exactly. He was too excited and couldn’t sit still, Lego pieces flew all over the living room, nothing was getting done. My instinct was to sit him down, gathering the pieces again, and follow the directions to complete the project. But I completely missed the point. Playing for my son didn’t require the task of finishing the build. He was content allowing his imagination to take over and play with whatever was in front of him. It was my task oriented mindset to complete the build first and play second that was hampering his experience.