Better Left to Chance
Holding you, I held everything
For a moment, wasn’t I the king?
But if I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey who’s to say, you know I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives, are better left in chance, I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to missed the dance
The above lyrics are from a song called “The Dance,” sung by Garth Brooks. This song simply and beautifully states that it’s not the outcome or what happens to us that validates our lives, but rather; it’s what we do and how we feel along the way that gives our lives meaning. We will never know who we are or what splendor life has to offer unless we jump in and participate in the dance. Yes, you may be entering unknown territory, but that’s where the adventure is. You may be on top one day and suddenly fall the next but think about this. Isn’t it better to fall than not to try at all?
We can strategically plan our lives, make careful use of our choices and take what we think are the appropriate actions to fulfill the ideal life we want, but there is absolutely no way of knowing with certainty what will happen. There are just too many variables and unexpected twists and turns that come into play. There is no sure way of knowing how our lives will wind up. Well guess what? We’re not supposed to. If we did, the thrill of life would cease to exist.
As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Ironically, as you know the unexpected did happen to him. After years of isolation from fame and the music business, John Lennon got his life together and came out of seclusion. He was making a huge comeback when he was suddenly killed by a crazed fan. This happened within weeks after his new album – ironically entitled – “Starting Over” – hit the top of the charts.
I can’t help but wonder; what if John Lennon somehow knew that his life would be taken by an assassin’s bullet? How would he have lived the rest of his life? Would he have come out of seclusion and into limelight again? Or would he have stopped dancing to the song in his heart and suppressed his potential, his creativity, his soul and the very essence of who he was?
Our lives are better in chance simply because if we knew the outcome we would be tempted to override the gifts of choice and free will. (No, not Free Willy. Free will.) If we altered our lives because we knew of our fate beforehand we would never know our true potential. Our experiences would be limited for fear of moving forward.
If we possessed the magical power to see into the future and know the outcome of a particular road we chose to follow, our lives would be boring – to say the least. We would be unchallenged to discover our essence. We would be robbing ourselves of the events that cause us to grow. It is the combination of our victories, successes, and happy moments – as well as our disappointments, failures and heartaches that make up the ingredients to the recipe of our lives. It’s in the not-knowing – the uncertainty that makes our lives worthwhile.
Awhile back I was watching The Super Bowl at a hotel I was staying at. There were well over 100 people in the lounge area. Everyone was yelling and cheering for their team to win. It was an incredibly close game. Every time a team scored or made a great play, fans would jump out of their seats and cheer them on. It was obvious that everyone was excited and enjoying themselves. But that excitement and enjoyment was coming from the anticipation of not knowing which team was going to prove to be victorious.
My question to you, dear reader, is this – what would be the point in watching The Super Bowl or any other sporting event if we knew beforehand which team would win? Who could deny that it’s in the not-knowing that makes it exciting?
It’s the same with our lives which has often been referred to as a game. Unlike any other game however; the goal in the game of life is not to win or to be the best, but rather it’s to follow our hearts and to experience, learn, grow and become.