I have made a decision about my life. I want you to make the same decision.

I made this decision because of something I started to notice about human nature. Most people go through life like tourists. They have the manner of those just passing through. Some of what they see delights them; some of it distresses them. None of it matters over time. They live collecting experiences the way a visitor to a foreign land collects photographs.

They are also just as passive. They remind me of a tour group on a bus. They exert no control over what happens to them. Nor have they made any decision about where they are going. Instead, someone takes them on a ride, explains everything to them, and deposits them at a destination they did not choose. They may be entertained. They may pass the time. Yet they decide nothing and find themselves, in the end, at a time and in a condition someone else determined for them.

I have chosen not to live this way. It has defined my life. I am not a tourist. I am a builder. I’m a resident, an owner, a citizen. This means that I belong in a place and to a purpose. It means I have planted myself among a people and have done so with specific hopes for the future. I determine. I team. I define a course.

All of this I do in deference to the rule of God. Apart from him I can do nothing, nor can I achieve anything over time without his permission and help. Yet I think he would rather rein in the visionary and hard working than incite the aimless and passive.

I believe the counsel of the ancients: “Fortune favors the bold.” I believe the words of Longfellow: “Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.” I believe the words of scripture: “He will show you the way chosen for you.”

Long ago I decided to take my life in hand. I decided not to experience passively but to build intentionally. I pray every day for guidance. I set myself to the necessary tasks. I do the best work I can. I team with people who are likeminded and more gifted than I am. We work hard together. Things start to happen.

I’ve made a decision. I’m not a tourist in life. I’m a builder. When you are ready, make the same decision about your life. That’s when destined things start to unfold.

Have a good weekend. And go Notre Dame!

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