Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am—a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards. —Edward Abbey
I stumbled upon this quote a while back and it really struck a cord with me. I think it applies to a lot more than just activism. To me, this speaks truth to my general philosophy for life-living. I don’t have a personal mission statement or anything like that – but this seems, to me, to get a lot of things right.
This semester has been the toughest I have endured at any educational level thus far (which partially explains my lack of writing). Whether it has been the workload, the ethics of the classes I’m in, continuing to adjust to Waco, or just my general cynicism, this has been a rough 6 months.
This quote reminds me that we are never defined by one piece of our lives.
I do this all of the time. I place the entirety of my value in something while ignoring the millions of other beautiful things life has to offer. Why? Not sure. Tunnel vision, perhaps? Maybe the Christian mind is trained to hone in on one thing and live hyper-critically in light of whatever shortcomings we see in ourselves. Regardless, this idea that we must allow ourselves to be carefree and do something liberating sometimes is often forgotten in the midst of the day-to-day madness.
I think the transcendentalists had it right in this regard. Those like Muir, Emerson, and Whitman knew that they had an extreme connection with nature and felt something divine about it inherently. Yet, even with this fanatic and new idea, they did not lose sight of other aspects of life, serving as politicians, ministers, and writers in the midst of this movement. They knew how to be “part-time crusaders.”
I suppose this post could be summed up as a calming word to myself that might help others out as well. It is this — Do not be overly consumed with one facet of life, enjoy the natural things God has blessed us with and remember the feeling of spontaneous and carefree fun. Lent is often a season that has Christians denying themselves of things in misunderstood ways to attempt to connect with God. To close this Lenten season, lets try to have some added fun in our lives and find God there.
I think He’ll be jumping for joy to greet us.