I am an early-to-bed and early-riser kind of gal. If I am awake past midnight, there must be a very special occasion, and if I am in bed by 9:30 p.m., it is not much of a surprise.
So when my brother called me on Friday night at nearly 11:00 p.m., I was impressed by the fact that I was awake to answer. I asked what he was doing, and he provided a simple response: “driving.” A few moments later he explained that he was driving home–from Indianapolis to South Dakota. On a whim. Quick decision.
I had told him I was previously looking into flights to make it home for Mother’s Day but that the prices were high, so he then asked if I wanted to hop in the car with him. It took me about twenty minutes to decide. My heart told me yes. My head (analyzing the length of the drive, the amount of time we would actually be home, and the feasibility of the trip) said no. In the end, I said yes.
My brother changed his route and arrived at my house around 1 a.m. Saturday morning. We had decided to take an hour nap and then hit the road, arriving in South Dakota between 10 and 11 a.m. When I tried to wake him at 2:00, however, we both knew that our exhaustion was killing our spontaneous vibe. After a lot of thought, we went back to bed and slept until morning.
As much as we both wanted to surprise our family, we also knew that it wasn’t safe to make the trip. I would have loved a weekend spent with my mom and dad, seeing my sister and her fiancé, and talking and singing to music with my brother for 18 hours in the car. Even though the weekend did not quite end up this way, it was great.
My brother and I spontaneously bought tickets to the Cubs game and saw a win. We celebrated a home run, tried to stay warm in the wind, and sang the seventh inning stretch.
Not only do I go to bed early; I also plan. If someone were to describe me, “spontaneous” would rarely be a character trait used. Although my brother and I did not go all the way to South Dakota, committing to the idea and packing my bag a couple hours before we were to leave felt freeing. I felt as though I was living to my full potential, taking advantage of opportunities that were presented.
I heard on a Christian radio station a couple weeks ago that if you wait ten seconds to make a decision, your mind has time to counteract what your soul is telling you to do. I think that this is true. God plants ideas and dreams on our hearts, but we allow our heads to tell us how unreasonable they are. How many times have you turned down a great opportunity simply because you thought about it too long?
My goal isn’t to make rash decisions, but it is to follow my heart and to live in a way that accepts opportunities before my eyes. Sometimes our lives feel monotonous, and perhaps it is because we are afraid to take a chance.
The Cubs game was a blast. A day in South Dakota would have been too. Being invited on each of these adventures taught me the beauty in accepting the offers placed before us, no matter how much time we have to decide, to pack, or to plan.
Life is short. Be spontaneous.