A Life Extraordinarily Well Lived

“What a presumptuous title for a blog!” This is what I imagine many people may be thinking (there I go again) if they happen to stumble upon this, my humble attempt at recording my adventures in life.

Allow me to explain myself, if I can find the words.

For a long time, I cared a heckuvalot about people’s opinions of me. I cared what y’all (does anyone even read this other than my mother? Hi mom!) had to say or think about my life, my accomplishments and my failures. As a matter of fact, I still struggle with that, but we’re working on it.

I began thinking a while back that I’d like to be like that man from the Dos Equis commercials. Y’know, the most interesting man in the world? I put far too much energy and emotion in being my best self for the attention and praise of others. I found myself constantly exhausted, always trying to do the right things, say the right things and otherwise entertain, impress and encourage happiness in every single person I ever encountered. I was trying in vain to be interesting in order to garner worldly attention.

I believe this was often a result of low self-esteem, or the inability to find my identity in what really matters. I found myself consistently drawing from a well of human-approval that certainly didn’t quench my thirst for long. As it turns out, there IS only one “well that does not run dry,” and I was drawing from all of the wrong places.

Nowadays, I find that I am still seeking to be like Mr. Equis. However, I have a renewed sense of purpose and intention.

I believe that God created mankind with the purpose of loving Him and one another through a life of worship and service. Most would agree with that. I also believe that part of this oh-so-sweet deal (He’s kind of done a lot for us, while asking little in return) is that He created this big, beautiful world for us to not only survive in, but to thrive. God, in His infinite love, power and creativity has given us the opportunity to explore and appreciate the entirety of this planet. The world is quite literally our oyster.

Think about it. God created the earth, the stars and everything in between for His glory and our enjoyment. He took the time to create millions of unique flora and fauna, carve the miles and miles of caves to explore within the earth’s crust, placed billions of stars in the night sky to illuminate our path and reflect his majesty, and so much more. Everywhere you look, there is opportunity for both adventure and worship.

So many people take for granted the beauty and majesty of everything at our fingertips. We make excuses, we busy ourselves with the screens before us, we allow money and people to prevent us from experiencing everything we desire. I am in the process of learning to break away from all of that in order that I may experience everything that I am able.

I still strive to be the “most interesting man on the planet,” but it is no longer for anyone but myself and my God. I want to experience as much as I possibly can, to explore every avenue of life. I desire to seek every ounce of God’s amazing creation, and worship Him through it all. In the end, I know I won’t be perfect (far from it I imagine) and there will be many hiccups.

I will fail to love well.

I will seek the approval of others.

I will make excuses.

I will write blog posts that are probably way too long.

I will fall short.

I will fail to appreciate everything that God has given me.

I will start too many sentences in life with “I.”

Nonetheless, I shall continue to pursue God as best as I can and I believe that includes living the life He has gifted me to the best of my ability. I hope to someday look back at this life and think, “Man, I’ve had a Life Extraordinarily Well Lived for God.” For now, this seems to include stories of adventure, loving others, making new, lasting relationships and trying things that will often be quite uncomfortable.

 

Thanks for reading, and may you pursue your dreams and live a Life Extraordinarily Well Lived.

 

Brady J. L. Smith

 

A Simple Warning

If ever you find yourself meandering about the forest and suddenly happen upon a seemingly unobtrusive, and yet mystically tantalizing small tent, just walk away. As you find yourself inexorably moving in the very direction in which I have just told you not to walk, I will advise you just once more; just… walk… away.

Undoubtedly, like so many before you, you will at this point disregard my sage warning once more, drawn unabashedly towards what you believe to be the clicking and whistling sounds of a troupe of dolphins. Need I remind you that you are in the middle of a forest? Please just stop walking!

By this point in time, should you continue, you are beyond the help of myself, or any mental health professional for that matter, if you do not turn around. You are now irrevocably helpless unless you decide, against your clearly very poor judgement, to heed this; my final attempt at offering you salvation.

You arrive at your destination and enter this veritably unsuitable source of deep sea creature din in the middle of the forest, whereupon you find yourself in a well decorated lounge of surprisingly considerable size. What happens next would inspire a sense of both fear and wonder in any reasonable person, but you and I both know that you are well beyond either by this point.

You now recognize yourself as standing face to face with the impossible; before you sit three of the most well dressed and austere aquatic mammals you have ever laid eyes upon. They sit about what you can only describe as a table, pyramidal in shape and standing inverted upon a single point, and just to the far side of them is an unnecessarily large fireplace. Peering at you expectantly and with some disdain for some time, through a monocle and over a mustache that would arguably rival that of my Great Aunt Ruth’s, the central figure of the three now expresses a distaste for your tardiness and your lack of biscuits but nonetheless offers you a seat and the opportunity for a fireside chat. You agree, and are then offered a simple choice between coffee or tea.

As you may recall, I stated prior that I bear one last piece of advice for you. Contrary to your actions up until this point, I strongly consider you observe this, the last glimmer of hope offered to all whom I have written to in your current position in time and space. For all who have ignored my counsel up until now – for all who find themselves in just such an odd and incomprehensible predicament and cannot choose which beverage to accept – for all in tents with porpoises, I implore you; do not drink the tea.