Gringa [or close enough] in Guatemala

Today…enjoy it!
July 26, 2009, 3:17 am
Filed under: Deepness

I turned 23 this week. So I may not be about to kick the bucket but I am officially starting to feel old, and a little terrified at how fast the years are flying. I swear it feels like just last week that I turned 18.

Today I was listening to a podcast by my favourite author Don Miller about how our lives our like stories, we are the authors, and we have the chance to write an engaging and exciting story or a meaningless and empty one. Kind of cliche but it´s actually very inspiring. What kind of story will we write? A story that someone will want to read, with risk, love, sacrifice and adventure, or a story about a man who´s goal in life is to buy a volvo? (ok so he definitely phrased it much better….listen if you get a chance)

And in this feeling kinda old state it got me all inspired to live…just live. Dream. Laugh. Take risks. I don´t want life to just happen to me, to go through the motions, take the path of least resistance and one day wake up old. I want to happen to life.

You´ve heard all the cliches, ´live life to the full´, ´seize the moment´ etc.

But, what if they´re actually really good cliches.

It´s true…today is a blank page, and only you hold the pen. You get to choose what kind of story you will write. How you will treat those you love. How you will treat that beggar in the street. How many times you will laugh. If you will stay in that job you hate or do everything you can to find what fulfills you. How you can take that step of faith and run after what your heart beats for, maybe loving some AIDS orphans in Africa or joining a band.

¨Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn´t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream Discover.¨ ‘ Mark Twain

I read a book this week about a lady who moved to Lebanon with her husband to become missionaries, was working hard serving pregnant ladies in a health clinic when she was shot dead by a terrorist. A waste of a life, to put herself in such a dangerous situation, or a life well lived, lived to love and serve others, and laid down for a good cause? I´m not saying we should deliberately put ourselves in dangerous situations, but the fact is our lives are fragile.

Although we can reduce risk, death can actually surprise any of us, at any time.

So why do we let things like insecurities and fears hold us back? If there´s one thing I´ve learned this year it´s that we have so much to be thankful for and so many opportunities. I say let´s throw caution to the wind, find something that would be worth dying for, and then give everything we´ve got to live for it.

¨There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.¨

Doesn´t mean it´ll always be easy. I know I´ve had some emotionally challenging moments this year in Guatemala, dealing with sickness, a new language, feelings of isolation, culture shock and just plain homesickness. But the things I´ve learned, the changes that have happened in me, the people I´ve met, have all made it so worth the rough patches. And the rough patches themselves have been what have been the times I have grown the most.

So I challenge you…pick up that pen and write your story. Decide today what is important to you, laugh in the face of fear, love big, do something just for fun, let faith grow in your heart, play with a child, and just LIVE. You´ll never get this blank page back again.

I leave with you a quote from Rob McKee as quoted by Don Miller In this podcast:

¨Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear, for above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage. Courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully, but write boldly. Then like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.¨ Robert McKee


5 Comments so far
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Wow Gem, it is so wonderful to hear your passion!!! you are right.It’s amazing how when God reveals something to your heart you see it everywhere and wonder how you missed it all this time. The religion God wants is Micah 6:6-8, Deut 10:12-20. Don’t you feel that we get it backwards so often!I wonder if the persecution of apathy and materialism is so dangerous because it is so subtle and (scarily) comfortable. We love you very much and we are so proud of you.XX Donna Scott and kids

Comment by Donna

Thank you Gemma! 🙂

Comment by Mel

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