I love Netflix! Honestly, I just can’t say enough about a service that allows you to sit at your computer, browse through a bazillion movie titles, pick the ones you like, then have them sent directly to you courtesy of the United States Postal Service. I don’t know who came up with this brilliant idea, but whoever they are, they deserve more acknowlegement than my feeble writings can convey. With all the hubalub that surrounds my life, the small amount of convenience this service provides works out to be a huge gift. I am truly grateful!
This past week, several new arrivals showed up in my mailbox! Much like the child in my life, I eagerly tore open the packages, eager to see what new and exciting offerings we would be treated to this week. One of the movies that came this past week was one that I thought my family would enjoy a great deal. Sure enough, it has become a major success; in fact, since arriving it’s been watched at least 6 times.
Step Up tells the story of a troubled foster kid who, following a bit of ill-advised vandalism, is sentenced to perform community service at a prestigous school for the arts. Headed on the fast track to nowhere, this kid finds that discovering his talent is only the first step in changing the course of his life. At one point in the movie, he is standing on a basketball court with one of his best friends after suffering the death of someone extremely important to them. His friend looked at him and asked if he truly felt that he was living up to his potential.
Joel Osteen, pastor of the largest church in America, recently wrote a book called Your Best Life Now. In his book, Pastor Osteen offers seven steps to living life to its maximum potential. He talks about enlarging our vision for life. About developing a healthy self-image and about how much power our words and thoughts have in developing that self-image. Osteen also talks at great length about letting go of our past so that we can fully enjoy our present and future.
As I watched the movie, I started to wonder how many of us give lip service to living our best lives now. How many of us pick up a book like Osteen’s or watch a movie like Step Up and find our emotions bubble to the surface. If you are like me, you think “gee whiz, that’s a great thought!” But I wonder how many of us really make a life changing decision to live our best life…now!
If you are like me, you probably find yourself buried in the rote. I feel zombie-like sometimes. Going through the motions of life. Up before 6a. The three s’s by 7a. Coffee on the way out the door. Oh yea…”Paris, are you up…dressed…come on…let’s go!” Train by 7:15a. Into the office by 8a. Leave at 5p. Home by 6:30p. Dinner. Homework. Bedtime. Every day the same story. Is this my best?
On a recent evening after dinner I sat and watched a little boy play ball with his neighborhood friend. “Come on ‘n play with us” they coerced. I didn’t want to! I wanted to sit in my chair, enjoy my glass of wine and catch my breath before starting another day. As I heard the entreaty, a moment of clarity struck. I could hear my mother saying “make good memories!” and as she said that I saw Osteen’s book flash before my eyes. My best life huh?
Pretty soon two 9 year olds were rolling on the ground crying tears of mirth watching my feeble attempts at keeping up with their ball game and ever changing rules. The sun went down soon enough and as we picked up all the toys from the backyard, I looked over and noticed my glass of wine still sitting there. I did not get my moment of self-indulgence! The peace and quiet that seemed so essential to living my best life were forgotten. It wasn’t until I was in bed, reviewing my day that I realized that in giving up a little of what I thought was important, I became happy. I know…weird! Playing hand ball with Paris and and his friend shifted something inside of me. I can’t really put a finger on it…but in one quick minute I realized that living my best life meant helping put a smile on my little guy and his friend!
I can get way too caught up in the trivial! I don’t mean to, I just do. But I’m trying really hard to take a moment and realize that living my best life now has an amazingly positive impact on those who are most important to me. I’m pretty sure I haven’t arrived. Last night though, I caught a quick glimpse of what my life looks like when I invest in living my best life now!