Monday, August 12, 2013

An Ocean of Stories: The High Five Life

On Monday night we ate at Crabby Bill’s. Our waitress seated us at a table on the deck overlooking the marina. The breeze was cool and the sun was descending in the sky. The same sun had tinged our skin earlier in the day, and we were hungry.

It was a strange thing—we held little alligators at Wild Willy’s, but we were eating alligator as our appetizer that night. Something seemed a little wrong with that picture. The evening was leisurely. Slow. Unhurried. (Are you picking up the theme of this vacation yet?). No agenda. No plan. We walked along the dock of the marina afterwards; perhaps we were hoping to see the alligators that we were warned not to feed under any circumstances.

Afterwards Abby wanted a Sonic drink:  Route 44 Cherry Coke Zero. So, off we went. Across the street was a frozen yogurt eatery, and I decided we needed to go there. This is rare. I am not fond of ice cream. Rarely do I eat it, and I don’t initiate getting it. But that night after the day on the water and the seafood I suppose I wanted something cold and chocolate.

We were still talking about Captain Dan and the day. Replaying and revisiting the adventure. The discussion centered on how God shows up in the oddest of ways. We walked into this yogurt place, filled our bowls and sat down to eat. And while we were shoveling our cold concoctions into our mouths we read the flyers on the tables and began looking around.

Apparently this was not an ordinary frozen yogurt eatery.

The main wall held a ten foot bulletin board covered with old photographs. The pattern was repetitive, but it was obvious that these were photographs of a real family. The flyer on the table explained that these were pictures of four generations of one family. One family who decided to embrace life. A family who wanted to squeeze as much good and adventure out of living as they could. They believed we should have High Five moments in our lives. And we should celebrate them. Thus, this yogurt eatery was born and named HighFive your life Yogurt.

This place was birthed because someone decided to embrace life for all its worth.

I thought the imagery was remarkable. When we high five someone it is often to acknowledge a job well done, an accomplishment, a joint endeavor carried out well and a celebration. High fiving our lives—who wouldn’t want to live that way?

A flat screen TV was mounted above the counter. Scrolling and looping were images of customers who had visited this place, who had experienced an adventure and wanted to share it.

Steve leaned over to me, “We should upload our airboat photo to their website.” I agreed (we’ve yet to do it, but that’s okay.)

I sat perched on the edge of my chair, my elbows leaning on the table. I was eating my chocolate yogurt (with chocolate chips, hot fudge and pecans). But my mind was not there.

Could I high five my life? Were there seasons or times when I could look back and think: yes, that was a high five moment? Yes, that was a high five season? Yes, I could.

But I was thinking of something more. Connecting dots. Seems as if I am forever connecting dots.

Regardless of what many might think rarely do high five moments occur at random. They are most often the result of hard work, dedication and a diligent pursuit in one focused direction.

During our trip Abby used her phone to connect us to music. Now, I don’t enjoy music quite like my girls. I like it, but I tend to not have it in the background at all times. But there was a track that Abby played often while we were gone and I grew to love the songs on that track a great deal. It was our trip soundtrack.

One of the songs was a cover of The Lumineers’ Ho Hey by the Stella Sisters. These two young girls (14 and 9) seem to have gained world wide notice because of one video on Youtube. These girls’ voices astounded me so much that I decided to do some research concerning them. Over and Over I read and heard the phrase over night success. Sudden rise to stardom. Yet, these young girls are the daughters of a husband and wife duo who have been nominated for three CMA awards in 2012. Their parents’ (The Stellas)  voices are incredible. Lennon and Maisy grew up in a house of music, instruments and voices. They did not obtain overnight success because of one song. No, the girls chose to play instruments and stretch their voices instead of watching TV. Their parents sang to them even before they were born and ever since. And every lullaby was an investment that has resulted in high five dividends for the girls now.

In the spring of this year I attended a simulcast that featured Priscilla Shirer. She told us that someone had asked her how her bible studies and the Going Beyond Ministry became such successes seemingly overnight. Priscilla laughed. Overnight? Priscilla is the daughter of Tony Evans. Author. Speaker. Minister. Her mother is an author. Priscilla grew up hearing the word of God taught and preached and written. For ten years Priscilla and her husband worked to establish and build the Going Beyond ministry. It was after this that Lifeway contacted her about doing a bible video series. Does that sound like overnight success? Priscilla’s high five lifestyle is a result of the prayer and investment of many people.

Bob Goff, author of Love Does, and his wife created a rite of passage for his three children. The “ten year old adventure”. When each child turned ten they were allowed and encouraged to choose a destination or event with their dad. Any place. Anything. (The stories are amazing; you can read them in chapter 20 of Love Does!) These rites of passages became monumental high five moments in the children and their parents’ lives. But as much as they appear to be spontaneous (there was little agenda and planning during the trip) Bob and his Maria “made a pact early in [their] marriage”* for these adventures to happen. They made choices that enabled them to set aside money and funds and time.

Do you see a pattern?

High five moments and lifestyles do NOT just happen.

They happen because someone invested something.

Deep down inside we want to live a high five life. We want adventure. We want excitement. We want exhilaration. We want to feel alive.

I know I do.

I ate my yogurt, but while I did I prayed.

And I am praying still.

I am finishing this post while at my daughter’s house watching Elijah. And as I sat here at her kitchen table typing I have cried. What’s new, right?

No, I have cried because I want my children to experience life as God has intended—the abundant, good, beyond-your-wildest-imaginations, high five kind of life. I want David, my son-in-law, to know that following after God is at times as crazy and wild as wakeboarding behind a boat that’s moving at least 32 mph. I want all of them to be aware and attuned to the marvelous synchronicities of this walk God has called us to—it’s hard. It’s very hard, but it’s good.

Therefore, I am praying, around and around, that God will show and enable me to make investments and choices that will contribute to my own high five life, but even more to my children, my grandchildren and my husband’s high five lives. I want them to have incredible lives.

I want them to live the Grand Adventure.

·        Goff, Bob. Love Does. Page 128

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