This is my entry into Donald Miller’s Living a Better Story Blog Contest. You can find more information here: http://donmilleris.com/conference/
“This is shenanigans, foolishness. Nerf ball. You live a sweet little Nerfy life. Sittin’ on your biscuit. Never havin’ to risk it.”
That’s a quote from one of my favorite television shows, The Office. Darryl, who works in the warehouse, is trying to tell Michael Scott, the inept office manager, why his job is more dangerous. Michael thinks his safety training is just as important as Darryl’s, even though it focuses on carpal tunnel syndrome and season affective disorder rather than the crushing equipment in the warehouse.
Now, even though it’s about as much of a comparison as I’d like to make between Michael Scott and myself, I am prone to living a Nerfy life. I grew up in a very small Midwestern town, got good grades, was a model student, and never took a single risk. I went to college that was close by and still attended the same church every Sunday. I was embarrassed in a theatre class when we had to share the worst thing we had ever done and the best I could come up with was cheating on a test in high school. All of the other students were telling stories about pouring vodka in their rommates’ water bottles and torturing ex-boyfriends. My scene partner looked at me like I was an alien.
I didn’t take a major risk until I was twenty-three years old and I moved halfway across the country to be with my then-boyfriend (now husband). I got my own apartment in a strange town and started a new life that was a twelve hour car ride away from the only home I had ever known.
It was amazing.
I’ve never been happier.
The five years since I moved away have been an adventure. I got married, moved again, and helped plant the church where my husband was hired as the worship pastor. A couple of years later, it was becoming clear that God was leading us in another direction. I was not happy about this. I liked my Nerfy life. Things were safe and sure and I wasn’t ready to step out yet.
After awhile of praying about when the right time to take that step of faith would be, God smacked us in the face and woke us up. My husband resigned from his job, walking away from a full time salary to pursue a freelance career as a musician.
Good-bye, Nerfy life.
It’s been nine months, and now that we’re on the other side I’m so thankful we took that step. We needed to. God has blessed us more than we ever thought possible, and it’s overwhelming sometimes.
But the other times? I want my Nerfy life back.
I mean, I don’t really want my Nerfy life back. Yes, it was easier, for sure. But I am so much happier and I find myself relying so much more on God now than I ever was before. Stepping away from the cushy, comfortable world that I knew allowed me to experience Providence in a way I never imagined could be real.
When I think about the kind of life I want to live, I think I tend to think about the kind of life I don’t want to live. I don’t want to crave comfort more than adventure. I don’t want to crave financial security more than the opportunity for God to bless us.
I don’t want to live a Nerfy life.
Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was so eye-opening about not being content with a humdrum, Nerfy life. I feel like his seminar will inspire those who attend to always pursue an interesting life story and to not settle for anything less.
If you had told me that I’d be saying that when I was still that girl who never took a risk, I would have laughed and probably gotten very nervous. I still slip back into that mentality sometimes.
Then I remember that life has so much more to offer, and sometimes you need a little fear to experience the really great stuff. And that is worth abandoning a Nerfy life.