Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guess I'd Rather Be . . .

Guess I'd Rather Be . . .

I guess he'd rather be in Colorado
He'd rather spend his time out 
where the sky looks like a pearl after a rain
Once again I see him walkin 
Once again I hear him talking 
to the stars he makes 
and asking them for bus fare
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado
He'd rather play his banjo in the morning
 when the moon is scarcely gone
In the dawn the subways comin 
in the dawn I hear him hummin'
Some old song he wrote of love in Boulder Canyon
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado
I guess he'd rather work out where 
the only thing you earn is what you spend
In the end up in his office
In the end a quiet cough 
is all he has to show
He lives in New York City
(Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado by John Denver)

I think what makes God happy is when creation becomes what it was created to be . . . I think that God is happy when people become who God created them to be.  I think that it sometimes takes a lifetime--if ever--for many of us to find the courage to take that risk to be who God created us to be.  In the meantime, I think most of us sell ourselves short of the potential of who God created us to be, and that we spend ourselves settling for "good enough"  . . . "good enough" when we know deep down within ourselves there is more to us than we are willing to discover and live.  I think we end up a lot like that the guy in John Denver's song, Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado, wishing we were someone else, somewhere else, than where we are.  Haven't we all said, "I'd rather be . . ."

One of my favorite writers is Joseph Campbell, a mythologist, who wrote about pursuing one's "bliss".  Bliss was the word that he used to describe one's purpose in life . . . the reason for one's existence . . . the reason that a person got up every morning, excited and raring to live life to its fullest.  He believed that in discovering one's bliss a person discovered who he or she was created to be.  And, he often wrote about the sadness that accompanied a life that was unfulfilled because people did not pursue, embrace, and live their bliss . . . their purpose . . . themselves as created by God.  Though he did not quite say it this way, Campbell was saying that a fulfilled life is the life that is lived to be what God created it to be . . . Jesus said the same thing.  Campbell writes: “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Bliss . . . purpose . . . meaning.

The tough thing about pursuing one's "bliss" is that more often than not, "bliss" is not too practical when it comes to supporting a family, putting food on a table, and having a roof over one's head.  Because of that, most of us end up with thoughts of "I'd rather be . . . someone else . . . somewhere else . . . anywhere but where I am right now."  That is why--when I hear the song by John Denver about the New York wannabe--I feel a bit melancholy about my life.  I am not too sure that I have quite taken the risk and pursued my "bliss" . . . that I have quite lived up to who God created me to be . . . that I am settling for second best.

 Of course, I might not be too sure what my bliss is . . . and, that could be a problem.  I imagine that there are a lot of people in my life who might have an opinion or two about what my bliss should be.  I have been told that photography seems to be something that I enjoy and that I am fairly decent at . . . others have told me that I seem to write fairly well.  Both are things that I enjoy, but I will have to admit that I am lazy.  With photography I do not want to take the time to edit and improve photographs I have taken . . . I want to be a one-shot wonder when it comes to photography . . . I want my pictures to stand as they are without doing any photo-shopping.  Of course, every photographer knows this . . . you have to take a lot of pictures to get one perfect picture.  Same with writing . . . I am not real adamant about proofing, editing, or revising much of what I write.  I just like to sit down, write something, and throw it out for whoever wants to read it.  Do people know something I don't?  Are these apart of the bliss I have been searching for?

I don't know.  Like everyone else, I do not want to be second guessing myself my whole life . . . and, like any follower of Jesus, I want to find and live who is it that God created me to be . . . to discover that bliss and live it to its fullest.  I don't want to sit in some office moaning and groaning that I was someplace or someone else.  I don't want to be saying, "I'd rather be . . ."

Life is risky business when we decide that we are going to be honest with ourselves and strive to be who God created us to be.  Risky because what God has created us to be may not be something that puts food on the table or pays the monthly mortgage payment.  To step into the unknown and put everything on the line . . . well, that is scary.  True, God will provide, but will God provide at the level I have become accustomed to?  Also, true, is that if it is God's will it will be . . . that takes courage and faith to follow.  It would be so much easier if God would just put a big neon sign up telling us exactly what to do with our lives.  But, God doesn't.

Instead God gives us hints . . . gives us signs . . . whispers in our ears . . . and, basically challenges us to discover what it is that we are created for.  There is nothing simple about it.  It is scary.  It is risky.  It is certainly safer to sit in some cubicle in New York City, dreaming about the mountains, than to put on the line to follow what might be a pipe dream.  Isn't it the American motto to be better safe than sorry?

Again, I don't know.

What I do know is that I do not want to feel like the guy in John Denver's song.  I do not want to find myself longing for something that I am too scared to find out whether or not that is where I should be.  i do not want to end up in my twilight years regretting any part of the life I have lived.  Am I there yet?  I doubt it because there is still that longing within my heart.  I might not be there yet, but I do think that I am where God wants me to be . . . that I am constantly getting closer to what God wants me to do and be . . . and, that I am still waiting for that neon light to show me the way.  I am not quite there yet . . . but I am getting closer.  I think that makes God happy too.

1 comment:

PEP Coach Denise said...

I sooo hear ya! Good thoughts John. In the words of Joseph Campbell, "Follow your bliss".