We all are focused on something. Often, the thing that gnaws at us most is our uncertainty that we are focused on the right things.
A few weeks ago, I was walking back to the car from our downtown, open-air market and caught a special lesson along the way. Andre Flanagan, the market’s resident sidewalk prophet props himself on a drywall bucket singing impromptu hymns to patrons as they come and go. It’s interesting how you can tell that some people love the serenades, others are put-off by them; still others believe they don’t have the time while the rest seem as though they aren’t sure what to think or how to respond.
It has been my experience that he always seems to be calling after me. He will see me from across the way and call out, “How are you doing my special brother?” The truth is that he is probably calling out to everyone in that manner and making them feel sought after by him.
Clearly, Andre has found his calling as a missionary and knows how he wants to spend what is left of his life force. Is there a greater fortune than this…to know who you are and why you are here? What a blessing to be able to walk life out each precious day in the way you have been called to live.
I also sense that in some way, he is making the most of his chance to afflict the comfortable. There are some of us who, despite all our material excesses experience profound spiritual poverty. There are still others scraping to get by in the material world, who feel grateful and humbled for their abundant spiritual wealth. Andre’s message that day for me was simple yet profound.
He called out from across the street, “We are all crazy for something. What are you crazy for? Make sure you are crazy for the right things…OK?” That was it. Uncharacteristic of Andre, he left it at that. There was no added enjoiner or reference to the well-worn pages of his bible. His nail sunk deeply and I could not easily dismiss his challenge.
I have thought about it many times since and have come up with mixed results in my reflections. It is easy to identify the things I intend to be crazy for but it’s another thing entirely to see the tale of my own tape. Against which passions and focuses are my wakeful hours logged? The easiest way to see what I am crazy for is to measure what I spend most of my time doing.
I find that I am still leaning into far too many things. I need to continually reel in aspects of my life and resolve to live in the knowledge that less is always more. Peeling back my commitments increases my chance of having congruity between what I say I am crazy for and what my Franklin Planner proves I am crazy for.
I know that most of us can find it difficult to focus in our time starved existences. We are being pulled apart by far too many things that clamor for precious time and resources. However, at some point each day, the roller-coaster ride eventually stops. By then we are compelled by necessity to rest up and recharge for our next wave of commitments. It is a crazy cycle that can leave us feeling physically battered and mentally exhausted
I hope that you might also be inspired by Andre’s words. That you might make some time to reflect on what it is that you WANT to be crazy for? Afterward, try to refine what you uncover and express it in a simple phrase or one-liner. Make it something that helps you recommit to that which keeps you aligned on the inside. Each day, or as often as you feel is necessary, encourage yourself to be more vigilant. Guard who and what is most important so that you can feast on your life.
You can get clear. You can simplify your life. With some time set aside to reflect and align, you will increase your chance of being crazy for more of the right things!
Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying…. cause you are!