Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break and Running out of Time

    Spring break is here! This is certainly one of the best times of the year in my opinion because it gives me an opportunity to take a short break from the semester, allowing me to recharge and finish the year out strong. It’s also a sweet opportunity to hang out and spend time with family and friends!
    So far much of the break has consisted of relaxation! I’ve been able to kick back (not use an alarm clock!) and just enjoy life at home without having to worry about any upcoming assignments nor tests. Over the weekend, I was able to get a nice run in with my friend Kyle before he headed back to school yesterday, and I’ve also spent some time with my sister Melanie, who returned to school yesterday as well. In my spare time, I’ve been keeping tabs on the NCAA tournament (March Madness!) and have been able to read some good books.
    The outdoor track season is only weeks away, and within the past two weeks I have resumed running moderately without pain! I’ve only built up to 30 minutes so far, but yesterday I did my first tempo run (15:00 @ 5:30/mi), which wasn’t too hard, so I’m encouraged that I may be able run some personal bests this year. One thing I don’t get to do too often in Des Moines is go biking. I love going out for a long relaxing ride, and am blessed to live in the most “bike-friendly” city in the U.S.! I got a nice two-hour ride in this morning, and plan to bike out to my hometown Chanhassen later this week and go for a nice ride with my dad on the weekend.
    One of the most enjoyable parts of watching college basketball is witnessing how teams respond when their seasons are on the brink. Often times, teams will play like they’re sleepwalking the first 35:00, and then in the last 5:00 realize, “Oh crap, if we don’t start going bonkers right now, our season might be over”. This leads to some epic comeback and exciting finishes, but you wonder if a team would even need to be in that position if they had been playing with a similar kind of intensity and effort from the start of the game.
    Too often we can do that with life too. We drift through life aimlessly, without purpose, and then when we realize that a chapter in our life is coming to an end – or life itself is coming to an end we react out of instinct because we innately don’t want to “waste our lives” and let them slip away.
    One of the books I’m reading right now, Tuesdays with Morrie, is about a professor who learns he has ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and has to accept the hard truth that he only has a year or less to live. His response to his circumstance is encouraging, and should serve as a guideline for how we ought to view each day of our lives: “Do I whither up and disappear, or do I make the best of my time left?” (P.10)
    Whether we realize it or not, all of us our like Morrie – each day we are one day closer to our death (I’m also thankful I’m one day closer to seeing Jesus!). We can allow life to slip away, or we can live with gratitude and purpose for the lives we’ve been given.
    Thinking about this, I remember a music video I saw in high school, which was very sobering (check it out below). I don’t particularly like Nickelback nor the song Savin’ Me, but the film is intriguing. Often times we believe that we’ll live until we’re 70-80, and then pass away, and everything will be all-good. The reality is that each of us has tiny little clocks above our heads (like the video), that will eventually expire. We assume the clocks have plenty of time remaining, and can often cruise through life with a laissez-faire attitude, but we don’t know for certain. I would like to think my clock has 75+ years remaining on it, but only God knows for certain.
We can begin each day, living with intensity, passion and purpose, like the team that’s down by 5 points with 1:00 left, knowing that their season is on the brink, or we can just allow life to slip away. That’s the beauty of choices; thinking about this inspires me to not waste my remaining time at home or at Drake. Before I know it, the clock will hit zero.

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