The Little Things

                          The Little Things

        Given the hectic nature of our lives, it’s easy to overlook the little things that make it all worthwhile. Sitting with a family dog on a hillside, listening to music on a back porch, fly-fishing in the middle of the Colorado River, and being un-regretfully lazy. Life is many-sided and there are infinite ways of experiencing it, but many times we are blind to these blessings. We should insist on playing life to the fullest, but play it based on our own sense of value. Ask yourself what the ingredients of a good life are and make a point to focus on those things.

        If you haven’t noticed already, life can get away from us even while we are still living it. Too often we act as if the world lost its luster when really we just stopped giving it our undivided attention. Sure, there is always work to be done around the house or in the yard, but finding enjoyment in life is so much more important, healthy—and fun. People don’t put enough emphasis on the joy of everyday living, and we rarely pause to savor the gifts of our present moments. Eating a home-cooked meal, being outdoors, wearing clothes softened by age, reading all day, running in a familiar neighborhood, and breathing deeply are all simple pleasures that satisfy our longings for liveliness. Happiness isn’t in the future, but in this afternoon’s meal with a friend, in this evening’s bedtime story with a child, in tonight’s curling up with a good book. We need to appreciate the things which help us stay balanced, which keep us from being crushed under the weight of seriousness, and which we can use to maintain our sanity.

        I will always encourage setting new goals and searching for the next bucket list adventure, but in between goals is a thing called life, and it must be appreciated and admired with all of the simplest amusements. The tricky part is mastering the happy art of attending to things temporal with a mind intent on things eternal. Try embracing happiness as a moral obligation and you will always have an abundance of it; seek out the good in life and you will soon find it everywhere. If you don’t listen to anything else I say, please just remember this: the secret to life is simply enjoying the passage of time. Don’t let this lifetime pass you by.

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The List (100-199)

The constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. The problem is, you have to acquire the happiness yourself. Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more. Our culture doesn’t normally encourage you to think about such things until “it’s too late,” but when you finally come to this realization, hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence–the lapses of conscience, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes–all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.

Dying is only one thing to be sad over. Living unhappily is something else. So do something you love every day; write it out and make your own bucket list. I encourage you to view these accomplishments from God’s point of view and to make your bucket list matter eternally along the way. Pull out and borrow what speaks to you as you read through some of the things in which I have found fulfillment and adventure. Be intentional and be contagious in your quest to live a life that is more than a bucket list.

#100-199

Train Hop

Go bowfishing

Backpack through Europe

Become an organ donor

Race in a color run

Partake in a 6-month sabbatical

Do donuts in a parking lot

Become a foster parent

Start a food-fight

Sell time-shares in a different country

Deep-sea fishing

Attend an all-black church service

Live on a ranch

Donate $10,000 anonymously

Front row tickets to a concert

Climb one of the 7 summits

Hunt and kill at least one of the Big 5

Get a business degree

See all ‘501 must see movies’

Fly an open cockpit airplane

Quit something every Thursday for a year

Visit 20 different countries, 7 different continents

Take up fly fishing

Live an entire week homeless

Bike ride through Nat. Geographic’s 10 Best Trails

Live to see my great grandchildren

Create a website

5:59 minute mile, 50 pull-ups, and 100 pushups

Learn to play lacrosse

Fill a gratitude journal with 1000 entries

Learn to play guitar

Take a cruise

Feed a wild animal from my mouth

Memorize a bible verse every week for a year

Date someone who is 10 years older

Create a multi-generational family tree

Charm a snake

Hitch-hike

Help make an independent film

Hit a homerun

Buy a Polaroid Camera

Own a pair of bongo drums

Start a bonfire

Expand human knowledge in an area of expertise

Join a rugby team

Learn to sing well

Two-week long camping trip

Graffiti

Go to a monster truck rally

Wall flip

Moon someone out of a moving vehicle

Have a beer with a homeless man

Kiss a total stranger

Learn to play ‘Claire De Lune’ on the piano

Milk a poisonous snake

Drop into a 15 foot skateboard ramp

Mardi-Gras in New Orleans

Throw the most badass party ever

Learn how to prepare a flaming Dr. Pepper shot

Ride an ostrich

Become a bounty hunter

7 day religious fast

Learn to tie a cherry stem with my tongue

Become Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash Certified

Attend Bonnaroo music festival

Learn how to give a full body Swedish massage

Start a business

Own a strange animal for a pet

Light a match with a .22 rifle

Go mudding

Play the ultimate prank

Complete the milk challenge

Sneak backstage at a concert

Go couch-surfing

Finish an Ironman Triathlon

Learn how to count cards

Volunteer as a fireman

Be in a flash mob

Red paperclip challenge

Design a new product with a 3D printer

Build a church

Give a TED talk

Backflip on a wakeboard

Catch a live fly on a leash

Swim with sharks

Run a 100 Mile Marathon

Join a biker gang

Eno from at least twenty feet up

Grow an epic beard

Attend Glastonbury Festival

Perform stand-up comedy live

Buy a last minute plane ticket to “the hell outta here”

Go whale watching

Become immersed in another culture

Sand Boarding

Become a member of a foreign-exchange student organization

Fall in love

Tickle a fish

Practice anthropomorphic taxidermy

Adopt a child financially through worldvision.org