Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Don't Dream. Do.

Image credit BaronBrian on Flickr
I don't know about you, but the coming of the new year is usually a sad time for me. As others discuss the year that has gone and all the things they did and the wonderful memories they made, I realize just how little I've done with the precious gift of life given to me.
The thing is, when people talk about living life to the fullest, they often mean physical feats; skydiving, perhaps, pocketing money to travel Europe, or embarking on a new business venture.

That's all well and good, but it isn't exactly practical or possible for some of us to do those things. I'm just a lowly highschooler! My parents don't have the money for a big trip, or anything so exciting, so what can I do but sit around and wait till I'm old enough to do something with my life?

By the time 2011 came around, I'd had enough of it. Maybe I couldn't visit London. Maybe I couldn't go to Harvard. Maybe I had a chronic illness that prevented me from doing things. Maybe I couldn't serve God the way I wanted to, by leaving all my earthly possessions behind and suffering the harsh winters of Mongolia as a missionary.

But I could--and always can--serve God the way He wants me to.

So in 2011, I pushed myself to the limit making the most of my precious little time on earth. I read the Bible cover-to-cover. I spent many sweet hours in prayer for the afflicted, the oppressed, and the lost. I devoted myself more than ever to my studies and attacked math problems with vigor (although not with a paper shredder, as I would have liked to).

But the most important things I did were not physical actions. They were matters of the heart. I severed my attachment to the material things of this world. I let go of the past. I presented my troubles to God. I realized that my present trials serve not to hinder but to prepare me for my future by instilling the qualities--the perseverance, the patience, the trust, the empathy--that I will need later in life. I submitted, even in the midst of agony, to whatever may be in God's will.

And in things like these, I took up my cross and followed Him.

The biggest things in life are often the simplest. So even if you aren't yet in a position to work your dream job, or to become a mother and raise children, or whatever your passion may be, remember that each passing moment is an opportunity to ready yourself for the future--either spiritually, mentally, or physically. And the longer you have to wait, the more prepared you will be--if you take advantage of your time to prepare.

No matter how impossible that passion of yours seems, either financially or physically or otherwise, if God wants it to, it will happen. No matter how far-fetched it sounds that I could serve in Mongolia in my current condition, if that's what He tells me He wants, He will give me the strength to serve. And if that's not what He wants? He must have something even better planned.

Life is an occupation of unknown duration. Don't waste it dreaming. Live it doing.


  1. This is so encouraging! I love how you said that you took up your cross and followed Him. He will bless you for that. Keep it up, you have inspired me and others! =)

  2. Wow, Olivia, this hits home on so many levels! I will have to reread it to scoop out all the wisdom.

    Thank you for being so personal, so vulnerable. God is definitely using you, girl!

  3. Wow, that was beautiful Olivia!
    What a wonderful reminder as we all start this new year to live each and every moment to the fullest extent for Christ.

    I'm with Abby :] I have to read it again to "scoop out all the wisdom."

  4. I'm glad this proved helpful!


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