Let’s go back to our old Sesame street days this week. This week’s blog is going to be brought to you by the letter S and the word Spontaneity. Defined by the webster’s dictionary it’s mean: the quality or state of being spontaneous, voluntary or undetermined action or movement. The biggest word that sticks out to me here is the word – voluntary. We spend a large amount of our life living for someone else, listening to others, and not having time for ourselves. The only way to truly experience in life is to voluntarily go and do something above and beyond. Do some kind of “undetermined action” which might mean doing something unplanned, scheduled, or that isn’t technically on your calendar book.
During my first year of college, I spent the summer at a warehouse loading trucks for Sears. You would be alone in truck for 8 hours loading box after box, day after day. Now I could sit here all day and tell you how bad it was but one of the coolest parts of working there was a guy named Steve. He was our local mechanic that fixed any problems that we had come up out of the blue. He was a guy that always had a story to tell but on the other end he always had a sort of bitterness about it. One day we got to talking and he told me a few things about himself. After talking for 5-10 minutes, he told me His Biggest accomplishment. The biggest accomplishment in his life? He had not missed a day of work in over 25 years. Now sears warehouse is open 6 days a week, no matter rain, shine, tornado, holiday. It doesn’t matter. That is 312 days a year that he has worked!
We were not put on this earth to work day after day, to skip our kids t-ball games for work, to never visit that place you wanted cause work won’t let me off. God wants us to build relationships, have community, and have freedom of choice. I’m pretty sure this is not accomplished by sitting at work every day, hoping that we can get an award for never using our vacation or sick days.
It was after this day that I finally convinced Steve to take himself and family on a 14 day vacation out of state. He was very reluctant but we had a sort of friendship that he trusted me. Although work was hectic without him, and the bosses questioned his vacation, somehow it went on and we got everything done.
Two weeks later, when Steve walked into work, he had the biggest smile on his face. Due to always working, he never had spent more than a day with his children, and his wife and him were always fighting…on the verge of divorce several times. His exact words to me were, “David, I have missed my kid’s childhood.. of which I will NEVER get to see again. But over these last two weeks, I have built relationships with them, we actually got to talk. .. (Tears swelling in his eyes)… I got the chance to remember why I married my wife, finally got to spend some time with her again. I love her so much!”
Steve was an amazing guy that I am glad God brought into my life. After that vacation, his stories lost the bitterness that they once had. He became one of the happiest guys I have ever met in my life, and it was amazing to see the extra helping hand that he always was willing to give at work. He had broken the chains and realized that we are not defined by the place that we work. He gave spontaneity a chance and it paid off. Don’t be afraid to take a week off.. to do something you have never done before. The reason… time moves way to fast when you’re an adult. I find myself saying.. I always wanted to do that. Well now is the best time. Explore, have fun, and live life. The times that you won’t regret are the days spent with family, friends, and others that you care about! At the end of the trip you come back, you’ll be refreshed and you give it your all at work because you know that you now have something to live for!
This past weekend, I got the opportunity to run a race called the Warrior Dash. It is a 3.08 mile run/obstacle course that truly challenges you. It ranges from Climbing 20 foot piles of hay to jumping over logs in water that is up to your chest. Although I am extremely sore, and bruised this morning, I can say that it was an opportunity of a life time to go to this event. Me and two guys from the restaurant that I work at went down to Los Angeles with me. An exciting 8 hour car ride both ways! All spurred by sitting down one month ago and saying, “Hey guys, we should probably look at doing this!” Spontaneity…..Live, Have Fun, and take time to yourself before it is too late!