Live, Don’t Exist

 

Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I wanna thrive not just survive

Some readers might recognize these words.  This relatable lyric penned by Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman is taken from the chorus of the song Thrive off of Switchfoot’s Vice Verses album.  This song fits in with the theme of the blog this week which is “Live, Don’t Exist”.

You may have read this week’s Quote of the Week (which I encourage you to do every week).  It is a simple statement by the author Jack London that says this: “The function of man is to live, not to exist.”

Too often, we are content with the mediocre.  We don’t feel the need to go above and beyond what is expected of us.  Because of this we settle for the average or simply “good enough”.  We don’t feel the need for adventure and we dare not step out and take risks.  All we are expected to do is to work and pay taxes.  Too often we get stuck on autopilot and glide through this pattern of working and paying our dues without being truly conscious of our decisions.  Life becomes cyclical rather than linear.  We no longer see those defining moments in our life.  Instead we see ourselves repeating this predictable pattern over and over.  We continue to age, but our lives are stuck in this cyclical pattern, never seeing variety.  I believe this is what Jon Foreman was thinking when he wrote “I feel like I travel, but I never arrive.”

How do we avoid this? To answer this question, we have to point out the distinction between “to live” and “to have life”.  In Thrive, Foreman says it beautifully: “A warm body don’t mean I’m alive.” Just because we have life or “a warm body” doesn’t necessarily mean that we are living.  To have life is to simply exist in the cyclical pattern of traveling without arriving; it is simply surviving.  Whereas the word live comes from the Old English word “libban” meaning “to experience”; living is to thrive and to experience new things and make the most of the life you have been given.

I believe that Jack London was correct when he said man’s function is to live.  When he lives, a man can find purpose and meaning in his life.  Living is the key to having a fulfilled life.  After figuring this out, Jack London said, “I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use them.”

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone if it is keeping you from living.  Dream big and don’t be afraid to go for your goals. Don’t waste your days existing, instead use them to live.

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