Recently, I have been contemplating a quote I came across in one my favorite books, entitled The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. It has remained with me since I read it almost 3 years ago.
The book chronicles main character David Ponder’s journey to finding his reason for living, after a series of seemingly calamitous events have taken place in his life, causing him to feel as though he might as well end it all. David is mysteriously transported to various points in time where he meets a number of historical figures, all at a moment of consequential decision which will determine their success or failure. At a particular juncture in the story, David is brought by archangel Gabriel to a room full of potentially life changing discoveries, some of which could alter the very course of human history. There were papers documenting the cure for multiple types of cancer; a machine that could regenerate optic nerves giving sight to those blind from birth; another to regenerate spinal tissue.
There were even photos of children who had been desired, but never conceived; hopes and dreams left to gather dust out of fear of failure. Sadly, Gabriel tells David that this was an ever expanding space, as each day the aspirations of many were abandoned in exchange for the familiar. Finally David asks the angel the million dollar question: “What is this place?”
“This, my friend, is the place that never was…This is the place where we keep all the things that were about to be delivered, just as a person stopped working and praying for them. The contents of this warehouse are filled with the dreams and goals of the less courageous.”
I will never forget the moment of instantaneous understanding I experienced while reading this statement. It was as if someone had punched me in the gut, because the angel’s statement was far too accurate and relevant to my then current state. I had been exposed. I had allowed fear of the unknown to cause me to remain in my miserable little corner, keeping my ideas bottled up in the jar of inferiority, my talents hidden under the cloak of inexperience, my potential- restricted and confined in the straight jacket of complacency, my life on perpetual hold, waiting for destiny to find me… in my hiding place, no less. I was hiding behind other people’s evaluation of my worth, other people’s assessment of the value of my contributions, other people’s limitations which they used to encourage me to “stay in my place”.
In that moment, I realized that I had items, dreams, visions, ANSWERS that someone else in this world needed, in that room… and I needed to go get them back! So I made decisions; decisions that have changed the entire course of my existence, and my level of participation in the world around me. And I am happy with my choices. Not because everything has worked out exactly as I planned, but because they were MY CHOICES. So win, lose or draw, I can say that I have stepped out on faith, and I am becoming exactly who I was always meant to be. But I am not so far removed from this experience to forget the agonizing difficulty with which I made my first baby steps towards the vision that God has given me. Which leads me to the video posted above…
I encourage you to watch this inspiring TEDtalk by Matt Cutts entitled Try Something New for Thirty Days.
And then I challenge you, choose something, no matter how small, to try for 30 days. I’ll be doing it too, and I will do my best to share them with all of you. Please feel free to comment and share your experience, we’d love to hear from you!
Best Wishes on your journey to a better You!
Peace & Love
P.S. Need help brainstorming ideas of new things to try? Here are a few links to some inspirational blogs and articles to get you started!