Imagine a world overrun with zombies – “undead” humans that walk around aimlessly, their only goal being their next meal. They grunt at each other to communicate, never having a genuine conversation. Science fiction – or is it? The reality is that many people who are very much alive choose to live this way. While they may not walk with their arms outstretched and have decomposing flesh rotting off their faces, they do live without a true sense of purpose. Life for them simply becomes wandering around from one mundane task to the next.
All things zombie related are on my mind lately because AMC’s hit television show, “The Walking Dead” will be filming in the Cumberland area Monday. The show centers on a Georgia sheriff who awakes from a coma only to find himself alone in a world engulfed by a zombie epidemic.
I’m a big fan of the show. I’m also as guilty as anyone else of living life at times without true purpose. In the book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years,” author Donald Miller says that a life lived with a true sense of purpose will read like a good movie script. People would be intrigued by your story and want to know more. In short, they would want a sequel.
In the introduction to the book, Miller says, “If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove it off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on and think about the story you’d seen…But we spend years actually living these stories and expect our lives to feel meaningful.”
That is literally the first paragraph in the book and it floored me. No one wants to see the sequel to a movie about a guy who bought a new car.
It took me years to figure out how to simply live in the moment, much less with true purpose. So many times, after I would take part in what seemed like meaningful events in my life, I would look back and realize that I hadn’t truly lived them. Sure, my body was there but my mind was off somewhere else. In short, I was a zombie. I was too busy thinking about the next thing or fretting about stuff that didn’t really matter to enjoy the moments in my life that should have been truly memorable. I had to learn to focus on what mattered.
While I feel like I now have a hold on living in the moment, I still struggle sometimes when it comes to living with a sense of purpose. I will walk with purpose for a while and then somehow lose sight of it. I’ve found that the important thing is to always have dreams and goals that are important to us. If we do manage to drift away from those dreams because of the routine of everyday life, we will almost always find our way back to them because they are tattooed on our hearts. They are important. Write a book, start a band, climb a mountain or do whatever else you can dream up. The sky is the limit. There is much more to life than driving a Volvo isn’t there?
Many people are scared to dream because they don’t believe they can actually achieve a goal that can oftentimes seem unreachable. The journey toward reaching that dream, however, is what life is all about. Even if we don’t accomplish everything we always hoped we would, the adventure trying to get there will likely be one that we can look back on proudly with a fond smile. Better still, what if you do accomplish what you set out to do?
Ephesians 5:15 in the Amplified Bible says this about purpose: Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people).
God does want us to live lives of integrity where we take care of the routine things that need tending to but he also wants us to live the life he has given us to its full potential. There is a lot to explore, see and do out there. So let’s go live lives that people would want to see a movie about. If you aren’t careful, your movie could end up featuring a few zombies, but I doubt it will be the kind that people are willing to pay to see.