Sunday, January 16, 2011

Something New

This month I am exploring some ideas on enjoying your best year ever.

One of the most invigorating choices you can make is to try something new. Life can quickly become stale and boring if you are unwilling to explore a new venture in your life.

Over the years I have found that attempting something new has a way of activating creative thinking and living like nothing else. The challenge of learning something brand new at any age is exciting. Years ago I was a regular runner but I had never run in a road race - so I gave it a try. A 5K first, then a 10K, later a Half-Marathon, which led to 26 Marathons and several Ultra-Marathons and Trail Runs from coast to coast. I had no idea that just trying something new would become something that brought me so much joy in my life.

Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote Seabiscuit, also wrote a remarkable account of the life of Louis Zamperini, a great Olympic runner and Italian immigrant to the USA, in her newest book Unbroken. The book is not for the faint of heart because it details some of the most horrid events of Zamperini's life when he was shot down during WWII in the Pacific and remained in the water for 47 days only to be captured and imprisoned and brutalized in a Japanese concentration camp. Amazingly he survived it all and is now 93 years old. The years after his terrible ordeal during the war were not easy - he was tormented with horrible dreams, heavy drinking and an obsession for revenge. His dramatic turn to God not only saved his soul but it saved his life as well. He became a gracious and forgiving man who opened a home for troubled boys.

One of the things that was so amazing about his story was Louis Zamperine's willingness to try something new - even in his later years. There is a picture in the book of him on a skateboard at 81 years old. He became an avid mountain climber and was willing to try something new with great passion year after year. Instead of being imprisoned by his desire to get revenge, his Christian faith empowered him to forgive and he met with some of those who had held him in prison, making peace with the past.

I challenge you - try something new - something positive, something that interests you and calls you to change and grow.

Enjoy the journey!

Just thinking, Steve

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