Photo: The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA
I’m currently writing to you from San Francisco, California. As a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan this definitely has raised my adventurous spirits. Isn’t it great to be living your dreams? Instead of dipping your toes into the waters of life, you are cannonballing straight into it.
One of my favorite films is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s kind of a strange film, but I love the cinematography and can easily connect with the storyline. Walter Mitty is someone who feels stuck in the regular routine of life, but spends his days getting sidetracked into elaborate daydreams where he experiences life to the fullest. “Ground control to Major Tom, can you hear me Major Tom,” Mitty’s new boss mocks him and calls him back into the real world by quoting these lyrics. Later in the film Walter’s love interest corrects the usage of this song and tells him, “It’s about courage and going into the unknown.”
Are you living in a daydream?
When Walter starts to live fully in the real world, his daydreams begin to wisp away as he embraces life. “That really happened,” said a shocked Walter Mitty after jumping from a helicopter into the freezing ocean where he was almost eaten by a shark.
What would happen if you began to live out your daydreams? (It probably wouldn’t be that dramatic, but would your life begin to change?)
I’ve recently been seeing the phrase “wanderlust” tagged on friends’ photos of them traveling the world and it has me wondering, am I too comfortable?
Wanderlust: (noun) A strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.*
I would love to travel more and experience different things. In fact there are a lot of things I wish I were doing more …
Let’s focus in on that word DESIRE.
Desire: (verb) To wish or long for; crave; want.*
For me, wanderlust isn’t just about wishing I was traveling. It’s going there in my mind, desiring things to be different but only living it out through an overactive imagination. My daydreams are the colorful sprinkles on my plain vanilla scoop of life.
No, my life isn’t as boring as I make it out to be. It’s actually quite fun. But it could be so much more.
Am I the only “mind wanderer” out there? We have this desire for things to be different, but instead of making changes in our real life, we drift into the perfect dream land where everything is put together how we would like it be. Are we too comfortable living in a dream land that we’re not fully embracing the life God has blessed us with?
This is a call to action
CALLING ALL WALTER MITTYS. GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM.
Let’s take it one level deeper.
Where do you desire to be in your relationship with God and what steps aren’t you taking to get there?
As the old hymn goes …
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for the courts above.”
– Robert Robinson “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Are you prone to wander?
Wander: (verb) To ramble without a definite purpose or objective; roam, rove, or stray. (of the mind, thoughts, desires, etc.) to take one direction or another without conscious intent or control.*
God’s word tells us that we are.
“I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. (Romans 7:21–23).”
Your faith takes intentionality
Your relationship with God is the most dangerous area in your life to lose intentionality.
I’ve been going through a Bible study on the book of Jonah by Eric Mason and have found myself challenged by his perspective. It makes me wonder if sometimes in life, we can find ourselves on a boat drifting away from God. Not because we chose to run like Jonah, but because our inaction to pursue Him causes us to drift away.
Eric pointed out that even through Jonah’s disobedience, God didn’t stop his commitment to him. I love that picture. While Jonah is fast asleep and in dreamland, where I can find myself at times, God still comes after him. He doesn’t give up.
“Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, ‘How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish (Jonah 1:4-6).’”
How is God lovingly rocking your boat? While you are drifting away, how is He coming after you? Did you wake up 10 minutes before your alarm, and think, “Maybe I should take some time to pray before frantically getting ready for the day?” NUDGE. Instead of drifting off for a couple more minutes, take some action!
You will not wake up from your daydreaming with a closer relationship with God, a healthier body, a cleaner room, and a scrapbook full of adventures until you put in real action to get there.
I’ve had to pinch myself a couple times to realize I’m ACTUALLY in California and not just dreaming. And all of the effort to get here was totally worth it.