Carpe Diem

Here's a bit of nostalgia...

Seize the Day (United) from Disney's Newsies

Man I love this scene, it always gets me inspired, wanting to go out and stick it to the man, fight for something, or just basically get a flash mob together and dance this cool!  It also heralds an ancient Latin proclamation,

Carpe Diem!

A buzz phrase that has become more popular in various forms over recent generations; such as YOLO (You only live once). However, as to that particular form and similar others, I feel we have lost some of Carpe Diem's deeper and richer meaning. 

It is not a call to live for 'your' present moment, following every selfish desire, because tomorrow is not guaranteed; but, more a call to action, a goal, or even so much as a creed to aspire to in our efforts to make the best of our present opportunities. Not just for our benefit, but the benefit of all. It is an understanding of the truth, that your tomorrow has yet to be seen by you, but your story of today is determined by your current actions.

I write this to give you encouragement to seize your own day, your own opportunities, and to realize you are not alone in it.  Yes I know it seems, 'thanks' to our main stream media, that the only ones who 'Carpe Diem' are the politicians shouting back and forth, or the latest terrorist attempt to steal even more of our humantiy...but this simply isn't true.

If you listen closely, look deeply, you can find stories and examples of people standing up and inspiring like the Newsie boys above.  One such example I heard about this morning, where a lady in Sweden saw a distraught man standing in only jeans and t-shirt at train station in the dead of winter.  She approached the man and said sarcastically, "It's winter". The man, she could see, was deeply troubled and sweating despite the cold. However, he still he replied politely as best he could in a tongue foreign to him, "I know, mam."  This man was a refugee from Kabul, Afganistan running from the Taliban.  The woman new right then she had a choice, a choice to seize an opportunity to help her fellow human, or to let it pass her by....

So of course she seized the opportunity, what kind of poor narrative would this be otherwise, and this young man is now reinventing himself and seizing his own new day. (see the full story here.)

This is something we strive to teach our Seekers in the VLA program, and why they must determine goals in all three aspects of life (spiritual, physical, and nutritional) to strive towards and hopefully achieve on a daily basis.  This is why they are challenged with week long excursions three times a year in increasing difficulty. So they will be prepared, In the anticipation of their own opportunities, to one day provide this kind of assistance to others.

It is a challenge as old as creation, discussed and striven for throughout the ages, but worthy to continue as each day arrives; receiving and accepting grace when we fall short, and determined to seize every opportunity we choose to grasp as they come within reach.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34, NIV
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity… Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6, ESV