A couple of weeks back, my family and I saw Switchfoot, in concert. I was very excited, as Switchfoot is very possibly my favorite band, and I hadn’t been to one of their concerts since I was in college. Back then, I was so crazy for the band. I have pictures of myself with the band members, autographs from all of them (including one on the drummer’s drumstick), and I talked my way into going backstage once to get Jon Foreman to sign a CD.
They were great this time around as well, and to boot, Jon Foreman roamed through the stadium and came within a few rows of us.
They of course sang their most famous song, Meant to Live, which was released at the height of their popularity several years ago.
Fumbling his confidence
And wondering why the world has passed him by
Hoping that he’s meant for more than arguments
And failed attempts to fly, fly
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
I’m person who responds to those stories where a normal individual (or even one who is below average) is transformed into something more. Although these characters might be affected by some supernatural event, their growth is usually the result of a response to something – whether positive or negative.
Naruto is a good example. The village pariah, Naruto Uzumaki eventually becomes the village hero. It starts when others begin to give him a chance and to show him love, and it continues as a response to all this goodwill and Naruto’s determination to love others.
That other super popular shonen series, Bleach, also aligns with this idea. Ichigo constantly moves forward, through pain and hardship, to fight for those he loves. He responds not for himself, but on behalf of others, like his family, his friends, and Rukia. Ichigo goes against an unending wave of foes seemingly more powerful than he, but becomes more than he is as he defeats them.
Our own lives are far from a shonen series, but we, too, are capable of living for so much more. The key, as with Naruto and Ichigo, is love. As we love others more than ourselves, we begin to do things greater than ourselves. And while it’s not that simple for those who’ve been down for so long, the key remains the same (though I would also add that adding the more-than-reciprocal love of God in the equation is a considerable addition).
Have you lost yourself? Are you lost in yourself?
With love, you can begin to change. Remember: we were meant to live for so much more.