Of all the hilarious, touching, genius, and weird scenes the late Robin Williams left behind on the big screen, the one that resonates most profoundly with me is his depiction of teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society. Determined to draw his pupils out of their malaise, he memorably urged them in a spectral whisper, “carpe diem”— seize the day. And in a burst of determined energy, Williams’s character strode boldly atop desks, reciting Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” and urging his students to get more out of poetry—and out of life.
We all need our “O Captain! My Captain!” moments, don’t we? Because it is so dangerously easy to let life simply happen to us. Rather than seizing the day, we’re the ones being seized by demands, responsibilities, and roles placed upon us. Rather than living to the , we may just be trying to get by. Rather than living out of purpose and a sense of mission, we find we’re pulled along by the tide of each day with no clear sense of direction.
Need a desktop wake up call? Want to more fully seize God’s good gift of each day, each opportunity, each relationship? Consider these seven ways to live more intentionally.
1. Discern your calling. How are you uniquely gifted? What are your passions and interests? How has God led you this far in life and where might he be pointing you? How can your daily work—either outside of or within the home—align with passions, interests, and abilities God has given you? Consider the insights Julie Pierce provides in “Becoming Who You Are” to more clearly see—and walk within—the path God’s got marked out for you.1
O Captain! My Captain!
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