I've felt really run down lately. Starting to feel old - In a lot of ways I'm starting to be old. I think maybe I'm a little bored. I'm not sure why that is, I think it may have something to do with my job. I'm not a big fan of it right now. I'm thankful to have it, but its wearing me out a little. Things aren't going as smoothly now as they have in the past. Things are tight, its hard to sell anything right now. Last year was a great year and that's killing me this year. I never used to miss my goals but I've been missing bad lately. The thing that's frustrating is that I'm working harder than I did last year. I bet my managers doubt that, but I am. I'm working harder and making less money. That sucks. What really sucks is I get the feeling people at work think I'm slacking off or don't care. Not true, but I can see how they would think that. I really think it has very little to do with anyone else in the office, it's hard for me to go in there everyday knowing I'm failing. It sounds dramatic to me to say failing but that's what it is. I hate failing.
So that's where I was when I heard this Andrew Peterson song today. Old. Tired. Bored. Unsuccessful. It sucks to be any one of those things but to be all four at once makes it really difficult to not throw in the towel. I was driving around trying to find the energy to make the next call when I heard Little Boy Heart Alive on the Ipod. It's not a song I listen to often. I don't have it memorized. I loved it today. I love it for its references to The Chronicles of Narnia (The Dawn Treader book is my favorite and the part about the lion not being tame is about the best part in the whole series). There is so much in this song I would love to spend time with (distant thunder, ancient song, kingdom calling, tale to tell just to name a few) but I think more importantly for me today is why it moved me the way it did.
I think it reminded me of the life I should be living - a life I lost touch with. It's the life I've been designed to live. I was beginning to get all John Eldridge thinking what I needed was a little adventure. You know climb a mountain, shoot an Elk kind of stuff. The thing is that's not really the way I live. I mean I go hiking like once every five years or so (I do still live in East Tennessee) but it's not like I can do that all the time. Besides that crap's exhausting to. I didn't stay with the Wild at Heart stuff long (I love and recommend that book). It occurred to me that I'm doing the man thing just fine. No, its not being a real man that I forget how to do. It's being a boy. I forget how to play - what it is to play. I'm Captain Hook.
I started to get really depressed about it. I can't pretend. I literally have no imagination left. What this song helped me do today was connect those feelings of play I experienced as a boy with what I get to do as a man. I began to remember all the things I do that feel like play. I fly an airplane like three times a week. What little boy doesn't dream about that, I sure did. I promise taking off in a real airplane makes you want to laugh in a way throwing a paper one never could. Just last week I played in the ocean with my best friend (who also happens to be my wife). Several months ago I ran through Dollywood, that's right, Dollywood, and rode roller coasters in the rain. I run in the yard with my dog. I play peek-a-boo, with my 11 month old daughter, but still it's peek-a-boo. Can't play that without either feeling like a kid or a moron.
I am designed to play. Play is one of the few things we didn't have to be taught to do. If we take time to remember we all know how. In the busyness that is our lives we get bogged down in responsibility and concern. We worry and work and struggle. We forget to play. Today I was reminded that I can and should still play - that my little boy heart is still alive.