“What makes you feel ALIVE?”

Here it is. Another semester has come and gone. And boy, what a difference a few months can make! It’s been quite an adventure this year, filled with the same peaks and valleys that inhabit any great novels or films that stand the test of time. Ok, perhaps my story these past few months hasn’t quite as epic, but it’s been a transitional period, and a time of many new beginnings for this tired but hopeful soul.

To begin with, I entered this semester with a very poisonous mindset. I was determined to be as anti-social as possible, because I was looking to really focus on my studies and prepare myself for the first few months of 2011, when I was slated to head out to Washington D.C. to study. Needless to say, closing yourself off to the world is a horrible idea. And goodness knows what would’ve happened to me if I had pursued that path.

Thankfully, God led me in a completely different direction, one of which meant changing my mind about Washington. I never truly felt any peace with the decision, with my mind telling me one thing, and my heart, soul and spirit fighting it in every way. So I decided against it.

I also decided to actually leave my room for other reasons besides work and classes. And boy, did I miss out! The guys in Mosaic (our dorm floor) are all generally wonderful, classy dudes. What a great blessing to have become friends with them and all the other new Biola friends I’ve met or become closer to; it’s been really sweet and my heart is full with how much of a blessing every one has been to me. As I type this from home, I already miss every single one of you. Can’t wait until Spring 2011 baby.

In the end, God has really tailored these past few months in a way that only He could. He’s given me a new peace, and the idea that I can ACTUALLY live my life and live for myself, and not other people’s expectations, is huge. One of my friends, Justin Kade, who works over at the radio station 98.7 in L.A., tweeted these words on November 6 that began to change my perspective on things.

“This may sound corny, but i’m proud to be the black sheep of the family. What i used to be ashamed of within myself, i’m now proud and…

…protective of. Being different is lonely, but it sure is a lot of fun if you allow yourself to be who you are and walk in your own…

…path, never apologizing for the way you feel. The world’s greatest shakers and rock & rollers weren’t afraid to go the opposite…

…way of the crowd. We live in a society where we are being forced to believe that anything without any substance or depth is deemed…

…invalid. And i find that to be a sad story.”

^In many ways, whether he knew it or not, Kade had some biblical truth sprinkled in there. Jesus went the opposite way of what many in the religious establishment deemed proper. He dared to go into the Temple and overturn the tables of the merchants, because the House of God was not meant to be a den of thieves.

Dude, whether you know it or not, Jesus was BADASS. He not only overturned those tables, he took a whip to those merchants! (John 2:15) He stood for what He believed; why shouldn’t we do the same?

Anyways, I digress. Another discussion that really fueled my fire came one time when I was talking to some of my really good buddies. We asked each other the question: “What makes you feel alive?” What has God given you, that is uniquely you? And I realized that photography was my answer. MUSIC was my answer. Art in general was my answer. Creativity. Spontaneity.

When you live your life for the things that make you truly live, then you’ve mastered “living life to the fullest.” I want more than the 9-5. I want more than getting by. “Everyone dies. But not everyone truly lives.”

So why not have a crazy, 3 A.M. trip to Griffith Park? Why not go to Denny’s and stuff your face at 5 A.M.? Why not buzz your head and get your ears pierced? Why not film a silly YouTube video? You’re only young once, so live for the things that make you happy. The trick is to balance that with responsibility. And, I’m still figuring that out… I can’t say I’ve done it right or that things won’t get rough again soon… but there’s always hope.

But in the meantime, if you’ve stuck around to read this far, let me tell you that life is so much better when you’re doing what you love. So follow what God has put in your heart, and set sail for the horizon! It won’t always be a nice sunny day or a walk in the park, but it’ll be worth it.

Currently Listening: “Teen Dream” by Beach House


One Response to “What makes you feel ALIVE?”

  1. Rosana says:

    Thanks for your insightful take on what it means to live life to the fullest. I have lived long and hard and a lot of times, not really enjoying what I was doing. It is time to pursue
    what I really love to do, finally. This might be the answer to my prayer for 2011…………………thanks son. I love you.

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