As a boy, I remember playing laser tag on a moonlit golf course with my older brother and his friends, sneaking around in the sand traps and behind the trees, seeking out my opponents. I remember playing capture the flag along the beach sand dunes at night, running through the soft, cold sand with others in close pursuit. These experiences captured my anticipation of winning or losing, the excitement of catching someone by surprise, the challenge of getting away, and the euphoria of mission accomplishment. 

I often think it would be good to recapture that sense of vitality provided by those childhood missions. That energy can so easily fade, perhaps due to routine, responsibility, or simply settling. The struggles and obstacles of life can numb the heart, weigh down the mind, and cause the loss of that revitalizing sense of mission. Though not as viscerally experienced today, I still desire mission – the anticipation of setting a goal, the challenge of making progress, and a sense of accomplishment in mission completion. I want to rekindle that fire.

Today, I’d like to encourage you to kindle some of this fire as well. 

What was something that made you come alive as a young person? Perhaps it was playing sports, playing a musical instrument, traveling, or helping others? Others may have found that fire in art, conversation, or organizing. Often the things that made us come alive as young people can point to our deeper values today: teamwork, camaraderie, discipline, friendship, skill-mastery, or a focus on others. 

Today, I would encourage you to make a small mission out of one of your values. Intentionally set a goal connected to one of those deeper, vitalizing values. Carve out a small time for yourself today to work on and accomplish this mission. Perhaps that means throwing a football with your child, reminiscing with a friend, twanging some chords on the guitar, organizing the garage, or building a model car. 

Whatever it means for you, may this be a means of awakening a deeper vitality in you, starting a fire in a life that can sometimes feel mundane.

– John Rigsby, M.S., Mental Health Practitioner-In-Training