“If you don’t go when you want to go when you do go you’ll find you’re gone.”
~Burt Munro, played by Anthony Hopkins,
The World’s Fastest Indian (2005).
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
~Joshua 1:9 (NIV).
There are certain characters in life that extract every molecule of oxygen out of the air they breathe, burning long and dry until they enter the ether. They live and die by risk.
Those people who extend life to and then beyond its known limits find out where those limits are founded—certainly well beyond our conservative “safe” perceptions. This is not easy territory and many have even pushed their ‘extended time’ far into the reaches of ‘the other life’ i.e. death.
But, it’s the way some choose to live their lives.
Imagine for a moment what it was like for the Israelites preparing to enter and take the Promised Land. Commanded by the Lord to risk their lives for their people, to engage with their Divine call, some would inevitably lose their lives. It was the same in the World Wars, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Until we watch a motion picture like Saving Private Ryan (1998) or Gladiator (2000) it often doesn’t hit home what almost certain and immediate deaths these soldiers and gladiators risked. This demands courage—there’s really no choice—there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
For us, more or less, it’s a world different. We have the “affordability” of choosing the risks we take with our ventures encroaching success, but all these ventures too require risk—if not with our very lives, perhaps with the face we’re trying to save. There are costs.
Whilst we live and breathe and have our time on this earth, we have the capacity to do what no one else over history has been able to do. This is to live the unique life we have and do the unique things we’re called, in fact, to do.
Boiled down like this, we have choices in doing things. Each day is a choice to do the things we can. When our time is right we ought to “go” while we can. At this we draw inspiration from all those who’ve preceded us... all those who fought their fears and conquered them.
Everything’s timing. So is planning—the diligent approach to preparation.
What is life actually if we don’t live it on the cusp at least once in our lives?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.