The past year has been an incredible experience. I’d love to sit here today and write a poetic, concise list of the things I’ve learned since moving abroad, but we know it’s not that simple.
If there’s one thing I keep coming back to, it’s this: Live life with urgency, but patiently watch it unfold.
We are not promised tomorrow, so be intentional with your time, your words and your actions. By all means plan for the future – what is faith if not “realization of things hoped for and confidence about what we do not see.” But, you have to find the balance between planning for the future and committing to this very moment – you cannot rush to the next one or ever get this one back.
It’s less about YOLO and more about doing the best you can with the time you’re given. Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek, is often called one of the greatest Greek writers of the 20th century. A quote from the book continues to resonate in my mind, years after reading it.
As you go along in life, ask yourself, “Is this worthy of my soul?Zorba the Greek
Is this what I’m meant to be doing?“
We only get one precious life, and it’s up to us to find a balance between using it how we should and experiencing its ups and downs as they happen. Easy to say, harder to put into practice. For me, I break down urgency and patience like this:
- Live life with urgency: Tell people how you feel about them. Celebrate. Spend time with those you love. Be honest in all things, and especially with yourself. Use your vacation days. Work hard. Start right now. Don’t let fear stop you from following your dreams. Don’t waste time on things that don’t benefit you or those you love. Be true to yourself. Follow your bliss.
- Patiently watch life unfold: Pray about everything and worry about very little. Don’t focus on ‘better days’ and miss the magic of the moment you are in. Dedication takes faith and practice; don’t give up. Feel the feelings right now – don’t bottle it up or shut it out. Don’t give in when people tell you it’s too difficult. Hard work is hard; don’t cheat yourself out of its reward by cutting corners. Find joy where you are.
Balancing urgency and patience isn’t something you ever perfect, I think. It’s a constant struggle, a cornerstone of being human. Our souls yearn for eternity, but we live ‘on the clock,’ so to speak. If you read these words, my prayer for you is to have a life well-lived, to know how much you are loved, how brave you can be, how important you are, and that the world is a better place because of how you are using your gifts.
I’ve waited far too long for your another of your posts. Please make them more frequent, but only if you can maintain this same level of personal introspection coupled with universal application. Bravo!