Why do you do what you do? It’s a question that I often think about and attempt to answer, however, I am not always sure that I answer truthfully or fully. If I devote time to something then shouldn’t it be important? Or are the things which I devote my time and energy just some dance through a life without meaning? In the short life that I have lived so far, I believe that some of the answers are able to be discovered, while others will be revealed in time. To get started on this thought, I believe that there are different levels of importance and meaning to the various activities that fill our daily routines. This is how my mind begins to process that answer to the importance of life and things.
I must eat, sleep, and due to a horrible yet wonderful life decision in high school, drink coffee. To pay for the food and the bed and the coffee I must also work. I guess that I could be a loafer and beg for my needs from others, but my soul would not accept that as a solution, so I work, and since I work, I choose to try and do a good job at whatever I do. After working, I need to take a shower, since the life that I have lived has led me to a unique mixture of construction, mechanics, management and communications as my current occupation.
Now after accomplishing the things which I must do, there appears a list of things which I desire and enjoy doing, reading, working out, playing sports, watching movies and tv shows, riding my motorcycle, and hanging out with friends at different events. On special occasions I camp, fish, climb mountains, and go shopping. It may at this point seem mundane to be listing these simple things that each person does, however I believe when we deeply think on all that we do, then we can realize how much we do not do, and how much of life we simply waste by not paying attention to what is truly important.
When my heart comes alive, and my soul begins to see hope for the world is not in each of the things listed above, however it is when I get a chance to visit a home of a foster family in South Dakota and install insulation, build some walls for a trailer at a missionaries trailer, instruct college kids in how to install siding and drive a nail into the next section of wood. It is in the times of spinning a child around in circles in the middle of a gym floor until both of us are too dizzy to walk straight and then wait for them to ask to spin again. These are the moments that are important, this is the place where I come alive, this is how I know that hope exists, and there is more to life than eating, sleeping, and drinking coffee.
When it is just me, I climb mountains faster, and spend more time maneuvering a difficult incline, but when I am surrounded by five or ten or fifteen college kids as we dive into the sandy clay ravines of the badlands, that is where I see my purpose, that is where I realize that there is more to all of this. To see the fear in a persons eyes fade as they overcome an obstacle that they believed was impossible. Those are the moments that are important. When one child, after years of visiting a place calls you by name without any coaching from the others in your group. That is when you realize the importance of your consistency, of your devotion to continue a thing which you were unsure if it made a difference.
We live but one life, we get no second chances at any given day which has past. So in every moment, may we begin to consider that which is important and find ways of doing more of that, and less of the things which truly do not matter in light of all there is to do in the world.
There is always a place waiting to be filled with loving arms and a willing heart to serve and give, search for that place, and visit it as often as you can… That is what I believe is important anyway…