Note: There are some movie spoilers within this post (kind of). Skip over them if you're not about that life. Also, a couple of the links are to film clips that feature classic Tarantino violence and dialogue (which means there's a lot LOT of foul language), so click them at your own discretion.
There's a scene from Pulp Fiction, an all-time favorite movie of mine, that I've replayed frequently in the cinema of my mind for the past few days.
It's during the final act, when Vincent (Travolta) and Jules (Sam Jackson) are causally eating breakfast, discussing the hilarity that ensued after Vincent accidentally shot poor Marvin in the face earlier that morning. Slowly but surely, the conversation manages to return to an even earlier topic, the one of divine intervention and miracles, to which Jules says prevented them from being gunned down during a hit. Vincent, ever the skeptic, doesn't buy it.
The banter between the two goes back and forth until Jules boldly proclaims that he no longer wants to live the life of crime that has defined most of his adult life. He wants to give it up, go off the grid, and "walk the earth, like Caine in Kung Fu". He wants to go wherever God directs him to go, and won't stop until His will has been done.
Let me tell y'all something: I loooovee this scene! Not only because it's a fine piece of cinema, but also because of how well it resonates with me concerning my own walk with the Lord. I've believed for a long time that no matter what higher power or force you subscribe to - whether it be God, fate, karma, luck, cosmic alignment, etc. - there are always some things in life that are just simply out of our control. And when those things happen, we have the choice to either accept them as signs or to continue treading down our own self-made paths.
Looking back on these past couple years, It's become obvious to me that following God's plan was the last thing on my mind. I found myself frequently worried, angry, confused, lonely, and aimless after several circumstances like break-ups and financial situations and uncertainty about my future plagued my thoughts and kept me suppressed in an internal prison of my own creation.
I was trapped, and it wasn't until the eve of New Year's Eve when I was reminded that the key I was searching so hard for had been looking down at me throughout my entire period of self-struggle.
During IndyCC, a conference I attended with my friends and 2,000 students from other Midwest universities, I was able to confess my fears, doubts, and insecurities to another individual (whom I had never met before). Instead of judging me or chastising my weakness, he took a moment, put a hand on my shoulder and prayed for me. He then prayed with me, and afterwards, he embraced me... and it was at that moment when everything became as clear as Larry Bird.
The rough period I had been going through created a lot of pain and frustration in my life, but maybe it was something that I needed to experience. It humbled me, educated me, made me a little wiser, but most importantly it refocused me, reminding me that I need God's love and guidance now more than ever. There's only so much that I can do on my own; the rest is in His hands, and it's up to me to answer when He calls.
So as we get 2015 - the 22nd year of my existence on earth - underway, I've made it my resolution to be more like Jules. Not the whole "contract killer" aspect of his personality, but I want to be more receptive and observant of what God is leading me to do with my life. It may not be easy, and I may not want to do it all the time, but what else can I do? The Lord has been with me all the way to this point, so the least I can do is quiet down, listen up, and see where he takes me from here.
I'm just going to keep walking. And if it takes forever for God to tell me where to go next, then I'll walk forever.