Dan in Real Life is a definitive life film for me for several reasons, but one in particular is my life catchphrase, "Better be prepared to be surprised."
This is a line from a song in the movie (aptly titled "To Be Surprised"). It's the moral of the story, (Dan ends with, "Instead, maybe we should teach our children to be surprised.")
Yes, we should. Because life is never what we plan. Sometimes it is, but even when it happens, it catches us off guard. Unexpected. That's how God likes to do things, sometimes. Sometimes it's so shocking that all we can do is continue through our normal lives in disbelief, day by day, with our eyes wide open.
Case in point. This past weekend, I attended the Graduation Festivities of Summit International School of Ministry (the bolder, fresher version of my Bible college, Mt. Zion International School of Ministry.) It was a lovely time, got to see former classmates, good friends, and wear cute dresses. Everything was going how I imagined (kind of). Then, at one point, I got hit (I didn't realize how hard until later) with something that really shook me. It the reality of life, it wasn't too shocking, but in my reality, I was rocked to the core. So much so, that I had to take the evening to cut myself off from civilization (thank God for those fields, man.)
I tried to journal, but all that would come out of my pen was "What the heck, God?". I tried to call my mom, but her reaction was something along the lines of, "Yeah, I knew that." Not helpful. I tried to walk the road, but you only walk the road when you want people to have a pity party for you. It's where put your emotions on blast and want attention...I'm not like that anymore. I got a cup of coffee because I didn't know what to do with my hands, and ended up pouring most of it out because I had no taste for it.
Instead, I went to the ball field and walked around the diamond six times just talking out my frustrations. (Why does something come up right after I think I'm sincerely fine? Why hasn't this ended yet? I just want to be done, ,yadda yadda.) Then I tried to just sit and let myself relax. No good. So I called my mom again and yelled. Cried. Sobbed. Yelled some more. She was more understanding this time ;) After that, I felt a little better. I hung up with her, went to the Manna House, and read a book (by this point most people were off campus, so I was alone by force.)
Then , I did what I've never done before. When I knew that my friends were back on campus, instead of remaining an emo kid I said to myself, "I'm bigger than this," and went to hang out. You have no idea how big this is, okay? Try me a year ago and I would have been in a funk for a week. I was still a little on edge for the rest of the night, but by morning, I was good.
My decision was made. I have to keep living my life, and see what happens. I have to be ready to be surprised, because God isn't done yet.
It turned out to be a really great weekend.