I read Don Miller’s blog occasionally and have heard him speak when he swings through Los Angeles (the one church retreat I missed in 2008 due to being burned out on retreats was the one where he was the guest speaker. I still have the podcasts he did on my Itunes, though I have yet to listen to them.)
This blog post of his poses the “What If” challenge to you, to me, to everyone reading, which now includes you.
“God gives life to you to live, and you can either tell meaningful stories or boring stories. We can’t wait around anymore for God to make something happen in our lives, meanwhile we shop at Bed Bath and Beyond. The truth is, God gives you wisdom and direction and morality and His presence and support, and then asks you to live, to conquer, to risk and experience the whole of life. People grow when they are in motion.”
Not that I think I’m on par with Don Miller, a dude who’s much smarter and more well spoken than me (I don’t even think that sentence is grammatically correct) but this is something I had challenged myself to do at the start of 2010 – have one big adventure a month. If I was going by Don Miller’s challenge, it would look like this:
January 2010 – What If I Wrangled An Invite To The Magic Castle?
February 2010 – What If I Got A Group Together To Go To The Snoopyologist Brunch?
March 2010 – What If I Worked As A Stand In For A Particular Awards Ceremony?
I’ve been having a great time with this, and have already alerted friends to future monthly adventures (one of which I’m super excited about as it will involve my friend’s plane and a tequila bar in San Francisco.)
Now true, most of my adventures are not necessarily spiritual in nature. If you look at the people leaving comments on Don’s blog entry, they’re doing things like running marathons, or fundraising for noble causes, or going on missions to Africa. They are all beautiful people who aren’t as cranky as me, don’t mud wrestle with God as much as I do, and probably don’t drop the F bomb as I do. But that’s why variety is important. ☺
This past week, I realized that April was gonna be over pretty soon, and I hadn’t lined up a big What If Adventure for the month. There was the possibility of running a Los Angeles based Amazing Race, but I couldn’t get a team together fast enough, and that might be something we do later on in the year.
But I stumbled upon an opportunity that I hadn’t even thought about. Because this is the kind of opportunity that you are seriously doomed if you try to create it. This kind of opportunity can really only happen organically.
April 2010 – What If I’m The Only White Girl On The Dance Floor?
Friday night was a co-worker’s birthday party. My department had had a pretty shitty week, with firings and arguments and lies and blah blah blah. I was ready to blow off some steam, and I still had my dance jones on from the new music I had discovered earlier in the week.
So I get to the club in downtown L.A., and I’m pretty sure that I’ll be in the Whitey Minority, but I gotta dance, and I’m pissed off about work, so I’m pretty fearless at this point.
I wait in line for a bit, finally make it in, find my co-worker and her friends and say hi. I chat here and there, meet new people, drink Patron, but what I’m really waiting for is for the Birthday Gal to say “Let’s go dance!” Which she finally does.
Though there are a few pale faces sitting at tables on the patio, there are zero Caucasians on the dance floor. And I don’t give a shit.
You know what’s awesome about being the only white girl on the dance floor? Nobody’s looking at you. Seriously. My co-worker is beautiful, and her mocha colored skin would turn heads in any club from here to Hollywood. But nobody’s looking at me getting my groove on.
All the times I’ve wanted to be anonymous on a dance floor, because I’m not dancing to get attention, I’m not dancing as a potential mating call, I’m dancing because I love to dance, and here I am, on an overstuffed dance floor, not recognizing any of the hip hop songs playing, and I’m having the time of my life.
I’m laughing with my co-worker and her friends, we’re saving each other when guys try to dance with us, we’re cringing when couples get explicit on the dance floor (if my co-worker hadn’t pulled me away in time, I would’ve been impaled by a stiletto wrapped around some dude’s shoulder.) We’re all in the moment with the rhythm and the beat and lost in the music, and it doesn’t matter what color any of us are. I don’t know if I could ever find another dance floor that could compare with this.
But okay! Let’s try and come up with something slightly more spiritual!
Here is my backyard. It’s basically Griffith Park. I’ve been trying to adapt to a routine of hiking on Sundays, and I’ve had limited success.
But today I looked at the backyard and thought What If I Hiked Up To That Tree Waaaaaaaaaaay Up There?
April 2010 - What If I Hiked Up To That Tree Waaaaaaaaaaay Up There?
Part of the reason I wanna incorporate hiking into my Sunday routine is that I feel like it’s an Automatic God Experience. How can you not encounter God somewhere along the way when you’re chugging around in Nature, right? God made trees and flowers, and the trail and the canyon and la la laaaaaaaa.
Check it out, it’s an Instant Metaphor! What’s Around The Bend? God knows, ho ho ho. Trust Him, Ye Who Mud Wrestles With The Almighty, And You Shall Discover Ummmmm…Sacred Secrets (or something like that.)
What I discovered is that though I could see the tree clearly from my backyard, I lost it once I got up there.
And that once I got to what I thought was the top, the trail would keep going, beckoning me further. Keep going! There’s a cooler view over here! Look at how high up those people are! You wanna get over there, you know you do! C’mon, keep going!
And then when I did reach that point, there was ANOTHER peak with the Hollywood sign that seemed just as high, if I wanted to keep going.
But it had been about an hour already, and that was just getting here. I still have to hike back home.
So I took a picture of what my house looked like from the top (lest you think that I’ve finally hit the big time, keep in mind I don’t live in the main house, I live in the Shabby Shack on the other side of the garage) and headed back down.
So if I learned anything, maybe it’s that Always Leave With Something Else To Look Forward To. There’s probably a better way to phrase that one. I bet Don Miller would know.