It was never that I didn't want to figure out why I acted the way I did or why I thought the way I thought. I guess I always thought there were more important things to do and I just never cared enough to get around to it.
Many times our view of "normal" can be a facade that has been replicated so many times in our lives that we just continue to emulate that activity over and over because it is familiar to us. And we typically see others doing the same. The way we act, or react, is likely a conditioned response that we do for no other reason than that is what we have always done. When we take a deeper look at American culture we can find there are many people stuck in complacency or a mediocre lifestyle. Simply existing rather than truly living. It is portrayed that we should stay in our safe bubbles and base our actions on impulses that provide us temporary gratification. It is an expectation that has cast a veil over the eyes of the passionate, the dreamers, the courageous and the adventurers. The media feeds us the agenda of the powerful and wealthy and we accept it as truth. Sometimes we feel there is nothing we can do about corruption or we have become bogged down by the enormity of the problem and become complacent. Because after all it would be almost impossible to change something on such a large scale.
There are many things that can keep us from truth or taking action. We can feel weighed down by our jobs, paying the bills or the responsibility of providing for our families. Those responsibilities can make us feel as if we can't dream anymore. Although providing for a family isn't about buying them the newest iPhone or the biggest TV but more about instilling in them traits that can build them up such as love, compassion, integrity and discipline.
There has been a disease that has spread without anyone knowing. No, it's not Ebola or the measles. Instead of a biological sickness it is a mental disease that gives those in power the ability to manipulate the masses without little to no resistance. It's called mediocrity, apathy and complacency. We can't cure this with a vaccine because it is not only mental but spiritual.
Many times we think we know it all. We don't need God because we don't need help. And if we do admit we need God we have to understand everything. If I can’t figure out the formula for miracles or the mathematical equation for answered prayers then it must not be true because it doesn’t fit into what I learned in school about logic and observable science. We put limitations on our dreams and on what God can do in our lives. So we move on and start looking at things as attainable and unattainable. We want this, this and this because everyone else wants it and an advertisement I saw makes subconsciously makes me think if I have certain things I will be happy, satisfied and fit in to our culture. Unfortunately, a lifetime of pursuing what we've subtly been coerced into chasing ends in regret with little to no satisfaction to be had. We put limitations on our dreams. We need to take time from our busy schedules to sit down and just think. Relax, pray, have an original thought, pursue truth, find our purpose, figure out why we act the way we do and learn something new.
When we put our trust in God, what was once illogical, unattainable or impossible, becomes possible. The Bible is full of events that prove no matter what your past or situation, God can use you to change the world. All Biblical characters were faced similar challenges... selfishness, money, depression, pride, unworthiness, unbelief, fear, lust, anger...the list goes on. One thing they decided to do is rely completely on God. They knew they couldn't do it on their own. We look up at the sky, the sun, the stars, the beautiful nature around us and don't give it a second thought. We are too busy getting things done and our thoughts are focused on the next task at hand or what we want. At some point our culture and society structured itself to believe that we do not need anyone else.... we have the resources to make ourselves happy and that is what matters.
What we fail to realize is maybe the "normal" and "expected" lifestyle in our society isn't what's best. Somewhere somebody started this and as generations went by others were simply expected to do it, that is how cultural expectations start. In Thailand it is said "to be Thai is to be Buddhist." It is difficult to understand why someone would believe in Buddhism simply because they were born Thai. I admit, I wondered how so many people could believe in something simply because it was expected. Then I realized that we do the exact same thing. Perhaps it isn't as obvious as having temples scattered about or monks walking the streets but in the same way we have all been conditioned to do what others in our society do. We can get tunnel vision and live out our lives and fail to dream of what we once dreamed as children.
Somewhere along the way we defined success as money, prestigious careers, popularity and power over others....I have a feeling God does not measure success in the same way that we do. Some strive for greatness only to realize their definition of greatness is skewed. Perhaps when Jefferson cut all the miracles out of The Bible it was an indicator of what the country would do. We cannot believe in those miracles anymore because we cannot re-create them on our own. We don't want to hear truth because that requires accountability or requires us to change. Instead we pick and choose pieces of truth to fit our lifestyle.
When we stop relying on ourselves and start relying on God we can become more than we ever dreamed we could be. This world becomes more than going to work and buying things. It becomes an adventure in which lives can be transformed on a spiritual level and beautiful acts of heavenly love and kindness can change the world. To a child, anything is possible. As an adult, we have been conditioned by people, circumstances, human knowledge and situations to believe less in the impossible and we become limited, afraid to fly. I don't believe the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. We should all make the decision to take a breath and take the time to assess our lives. To dream again, to believe again, and in doing so to live again. This life is too short to waste it on what we are culturally expected to do. Let’s live as God wanted us to, as dreamers...loving others and living life to the full. In doing so, perhaps the world will open its eyes to the desperate needs around us. Everyone is in need to some capacity. In need of food or water, in need of justice, in need of advocacy, in need of encouragement, in need of a smile, in need of a friend, in need of The Savior. Even if your current situation isn't quite where you want to be, it's never too late to change your path. We can all make a lasting impression on those around us. Leaving a legacy of adventurous love and becoming the change we dreamed of as children.