If you joined me for that craze a while back called My Space, you’ll know that one of my favorite quotes comes from You’ve Got Mail – “I lead a small life,” it says, “Valuable but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it? Or because I haven’t been brave?”
That quote haunted me for a few years as I thought of all these enormous dreams I had that I hadn’t pursued AT ALL. It’s one thing to wait for perfect timing. It’s a whole other thing to wait FOREVER. At some point, I believe you gotta roll up your sleeves and draw something – if you want to be an artist, write something – if you want to be a writer, and buy a hammer if you love interior design.
So I got in that mode for a while which led to a bit of an ohhhhhh when I realized that wasn’t the answer to all your dreams come true either. There’s more to it than patience and there’s more to it than work. Ug.
Now, despite some pretty firm convictions in a loving and fully involved Creator, I also totally believe in luck. To accomplish a dream that’s accept-your-Oscar worthy and tell-all-the-kids-watching-that-dreams-come-true – that kind of accomplishment? It takes patience, hard work, and a little luck. Because lots of people have success at the thing they work for and never actually get that. At some point, we gotta know which goals are goals and which ones are crazy icing on the cake that we really don’t need even if we want it.
So while I’m toiling away, wishing for things and dreaming big and wondering if I should have made some drastic change or taken some monstrous risk, I read a book. It’s by Martha Kilpatrick, written in verse, and titled All And Only.
It’s the chapter on Joseph that got me. Remember Joseph in the bible? That dude had some proverbs about hard work and patience and character and such really fail on him. Nothing went right for him EVER. It went horribly wrong, and just when you thought it couldn’t go any wronger, he went to prison. The punchline, of course, is that he eventually rules Egypt. That would probably restore your faith a bit. But it’s the lesson Kilpatrick drew from his life that I loved.
Do the task at hand. Live the life you find.
Do you hear an angel chorus with those words, or is it just me? I adore that wording – the life you find. I’ll never stop pursuing my dreams. And I’m all for risk-taking if courage seems to be the order of the moment. But before all of that, I’m going to sit still and consider the life I’ve found and then live it with all my heart and to the best of my ability and with all the count-your-blessings I can muster.
The things we’re looking for can often disappoint. But so much that’s good and worthy and valuable, finds us.