In some way, in some light, in some experience or moment or passing of time, everyone chooses to give their life to something, someone, some idea. After all, we were made to do so.
I sat staring at my computer for a long time because I wanted to make sure I really believed this idea that everyone gives their life to something. My immediate repose was, “Yeah, of course,” because I made the decision to do so. But I wanted to be sure that it was true to everyone. I thought of all the people I know (asked them, even), all the people I’ve studied, all the people I’ve heard of, & I came to the conclusion that, yes, I do, in fact, believe it.
Regardless if a religion is centered around the idea or if people can understand it, I really do think that at some point in a person’s life, they choose to give their life to something or somethings. I think it can be a phase or a lifetime. I think it can be a person or a career or a thing or an idea. It’s something, & I genuinely encourage you to ask of yourself what it is you have chosen.
Because I am not in a position of any authority, I do not get to tell you to what you should give your one shot at life, but I can tell you about my exploration through the idea. As far as my phases, I’ve given (& still do give) parts of my life to being educated. For a while there, I toyed with the idea of giving my life to medicine. I thought about making my life about different philosophies like the definition of wonder or the pursuit of happiness. Perhaps my biggest failure- that period of time I decided I was going to make my life about me.
Loving people is what I do. It’s what my life is about. This whole thing- the commitments, the heart ties, the extended heart & mind (aka my life) is for love. My life isn’t about me. I gave it to God a long time ago, & at the heart of it all, the root of the root of the simplest truth, I know that God is love. Pure, relentless love. Because of that, if I am to be a reflection of such a God, I really believe that I am here to emit the love that is him. & if that is to what I’m giving my life, then I am wholeheartedly committed to loving well. Incredibly well.
There was a group people who received the arguably too “Are you trying to give me an existential crisis?” question from me over this week: Have you ever tried to give your life to an idea or a person or thing where it failed? What about succeeded?
& here’s some of what I was given in return:
“Oh my gosh. What?”
“I love teaching. I’m good at it, & I love it so I gave my life to it.”
“The most honest answer I can give is that I’m still working on it. Finding it, that is.”
“I was made to make art. I know that.”
“Whatever it is, it’s not me.”
“I don’t know that there will ever be one definitive answer for me. Right now, it’s philosophy.”
“I really want to be a husband. I think I’ll be good at it.”
“I don’t necessarily think that we get to choose.”
“I mean, does God count? He’s not a person but, I mean, He is God.”
“I give my life to the military. If I can defend this place with honor, I’ve done well.”
The fun part in all this is that you get to choose. You get to find that thing that sets your heart on fire, that thing that’s driven by your crazy passion, & run after it full force so much so that your life is one big statement piece of that something. Isn’t that beautiful?
I do encourage you, though, not to pass by the idea lightly. Your life is beautiful. If it’s like mine, it’s messy & beautiful & constantly surprising; consequently, dedicating such a vibrant story to something is not only a big decision but quite the honor. Whatever you do, do it well.