Dying to Live

by Peg Coleman

A friend of mine once wrote an article about the need every human being has for passion and vision in their lives. The article rings true whenever I think of it and I will tell you why.

One day while driving to the bank at about the same time of day, (as I do every day), following the same route, (as I do every day), the thought "we are all dying to live" came to me so clearly I pulled off the road and wrote it down.

I had pulled into a little park, turned off the engine and suddenly realized it was a beautiful spring day. I had been so caught in my routine I had not noticed. So I rolled down the window, breathed in deeply, and began to write.

Remember days like that? They seem to catch us by surprise. They catch us because at that moment we are not really "living". We are simply going through the motions of our routine, ticking off our list of responsibilities, concentrating on the things we are anxious about. And all that time, real life is passing us by on all sides—full of all sorts of possibilities that we do not notice because we have become prey to the dullness of the routine of the day.

As I began thinking about that phrase "dying to live", I thought of it in relation to athletes. I have often wondered what makes them tick. I thought of top athletes like Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones. Then I thought of those whose names I do not know but who, just like Lance and Marion, are out there day after day pursuing their dreams with concentration, energy and passion.

Questions came quickly, `What is the IT that motivates them? Where does it come from? Are some people meant to excel and others to simply get by with the `business' of day to day living? Can we all be achievers? Who determines who will and who will not achieve? Am I capable of being an achiever?

Volumes are written attempting to answer those questions. The most telling are those written by the athletes themselves. Many of them will attest to an inner sense they have of having been born for this purpose. When others might try to discourage them, no matter how hard they have to work at it, they are urged on by something inside that witnesses it is the right way for them to go. The urging is so strong and seems so natural that they are not happy doing anything else or doing less than their very best. That is passion and vision. Whatever you or I may think of as the source of that motivation, many will attest to the fact that for them, it is very real.

Many of us long for that sense of passion and vision we see motivating top athletes. We know we are not experiencing it, but rather than pressing on to find it, we succumb to living life by routine rather than inspiration.

So many of us seem to be dying to live. We want more than merely existing our way through life. We see examples all around us of people who say by their lives that we are meant to experience this life, live in this life and not just coast almost blindly through it.

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