How to know if you are alive

We applaud people who feel like doing something.

In an age where so many people spend so much time sitting or who are doing nothing let’s celebrate the people who are doing something. Celebrate their living.

I’ve always been blessed with energy. Energy is a good asset. As a young adult growing up I wanted to be in the middle of whatever was going on. I always enjoyed playing sports, swimming in the lake or creek, riding a bicycle for miles or being in the middle of the dance floor. I’ve always enjoyed movement. Trust me, I can sit for three hours and read, meditate and write and actually tremendously enjoy it. There is something beautiful about life between two and five 0’clock in the morning when you can be more creative than you’ve ever imagined. Try it sometime. It’s quiet and you can hear God a little better.

For years I would occasionally go to the local Shake N’ Steak restaurant at about two and write until five in the morning. I was only one of two or three people in that place at that hour. They would pour coffee and pour coffee for me while I wrote myself into almost oblivion some nights. I wrote a lot of stuff that didn’t amount to a hill of beans as some of us country folks might say. However, I enjoyed it at the moment and a lot of books came out of those early morning sessions of writing. I’ve heard from people around the world that have read some of my books and they’ve told me about how much they enjoyed them. Thus, such compliments are my reward.

Sadly I was raised in a weird time warp. It seemed like everything I wanted to do was bad or had a devil lurking behind a bush that made it supposedly evil.

When I first started playing basketball in school, I had to find a way to appease my old fashioned grandpa. He was unhappy I was playing basketball. “Basketball players” he said “played naked.” He thought I should try to play baseball. Baseball players wore clothes and were decent. I finally talked him into saying that he guessed it was okay to play basketball. I was so relieved. I went on to enjoy years of shooting hoops in school. I still enjoy shooting in my backyard today.

I grew up in an era when old time ministers preached against going to movies, rock and roll, dancing and of course smoking and drinking and gambling. I never wanted to smoke, drink or gamble but I loved movies, music and dancing.

I was sad this week when I learned Fats Domino had died at the age of 89. My brother brought one of his albums home from college when I was a kid. We had an old stereo and I would dance through that album all twelve songs at least three times in a row. I would be so hungry from dancing that my mother would pop open a can of ten cent biscuits and make them with jelly and butter. Whew, I needed those biscuits as I was sweating from all that dancing. Later when I started going to church I felt very called to be a preacher. Sounds crazy but it’s true. However, I never felt called to give up music and dancing. This really got me in trouble one night when I told the youth group at a church where I was speaking there was nothing wrong with dancing. The fire hit the fan from the host pastor as he had been preaching against it for quite awhile. I realize people can make dancing something vulgar but I’ve seen Baptist business meetings become much uglier than anything I’ve ever seen out on a dance floor.

Would we not all wish for people to be out dancing and doing something physically active? This would be better than sitting in the house starring at cell phones, computers and televisions or sitting around gossiping about others.

There is a point to this column and the point is do not let other people stop you from activity. Be active in life. Be out and about. Be doing something. People are critical of any and everything other people do. Whatever you do in life people will find fault with what you are doing. As long as it’s legal and right then don’t let people stop you from living your life. Be true to yourself. You will lose acquaintances. You might even lose a semi close friend or two. Let them go. Move on because the new friends you will make will be worth it all.

Remember the only way you will never receive much criticism in life is to do nothing. And then, you will have people in your family who will say, “Well, he never did anything with his or her life.” So, it’s a double edged sword in many ways.

The person carrying the ball is the one they always try to tackle. So, my friend, pick up the ball in your life and if it’s okay with God and it’s good with you then why would you care if anybody else is against you? By the way, don’t ask the people at your church because they’ll want to vote on it or something crazy like that. Keep it between you and God. The two of you can figure it out.

Oh yea, I remember the line I used to get about offending people. They always got us in church about being a stumbling block. I agree there is no need to be in people’s faces trying to offend them. What are the point and the future of that? However, with whatever you do in life you will offend somebody. Let them be offended or let them get over it. Yes, I know what Jesus said about that and you need to research the context of what he said.

Life is short dear friend. Applaud yourself and others if you have the emotional and physical wherewithal to jump up from your chair and go to work, sing, dance, mow the yard, chop down a tree, jog down the road, preach a 30 minute sermon, golf or fish all day, write a book, paint a picture, wash down the house, start a new venture, but rejoice for activity and feeling like you want to live. It’s a sign that you are really alive! Enjoy and live it!

Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of 12 books. He is read in all 50 states. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com. Learn more at www.glennmollette.com Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette.