In 2005 I spent the summer in Joplin MO on an internship with a summer teen conference. I lived on a college campus and shared a room with a guy I knew from college. I remember specifically one day a discussion we had about a book he was reading. The book was called the Perks of Being a Wallflower. As I sat there listening to him describe the book and what it was about the only thing I heard was how great it was to sit on the sidelines and watch. I remember going to bed that night feeling sad about the idea of sitting back and watching. I felt like I was being called to be a bystander and not a participant.
This past week I have been reminded of what it means to be a bystander and a participant. I was reminded of the results and outcome of both.
As a bystander I sat and watched
As a participant I moved and acted
As a bystander I become bitter and regretful
As a participant I was happy and energized
As a bystander I missed out on opportunities
As a participant I created opportunities
As I start a new week I am constantly reminding myself to be a participant and not a bystander. But can I be honest with you, it is so much easier for me to be a bystander. To sit back, let things pass, and want others to come to me. Its easy for me to expect others to notice me, to serve me, to take care of me. Maybe its the deep desire to be known, but its easy for me to sit in the corner and feel sorry for myself.
But every night I am reminded of what it is like to be a bystander. It is a life filled with regret and missed chances. Because just as much as I want to be a bystander I desire to be a participant. Maybe it is because I am afraid of the consequences of missing out, but I think the biggest reason is that I want to be apart of life rather then letting life pass me by.
Sometimes its easy to hit the snooze button on life and never wake up, but today I choose to participate eyes wide open ready to see whats next.