A new way to live.

I think we as a human race spend too much time fretting about ultimately meaningless things and not enough time dwelling in the beauty and joy we experience each day. Days roll into weeks and weeks into months sometimes before we realize that we haven’t taken the time to just be, breath, scream for no reason, laugh until it hurts, hug until you go numb, climb until you’re scared, jump because you can, sing because it feels good, and just live. I mean REALLY live.

Generally people use the term “easily amused” like it’s a bad thing. Why? Why is it wrong of us to relish the simple things in life? Why is it frowned upon to be tickled by seemingly insignificant things?  Somehow there is this unwritten code that people are religiously adhering to in order to secure for ourselves the tag ‘normal’.

Why do we fight to retain our composed demeanor when the joy that God has placed inside of us is begging to be unleashed? I think we may need to rewrite these invisible cultural rules that most of humanity is following and institute a new order. Viva la revolution!

This is my brother Grant and his delightful wife Emma. Among a list of other advantages to living in Brisbane now is being able to hang out with these to ridiculously goodlooking people on a fairly regular basis.

Grant and I were both born in April but 3 years apart. We have been really close all of our lives. Basically upon exiting the womb I was greeted with the loving smiles of my parents and a high five from Grant. It wasn’t long at all until we were up to all sorts of boyish shenanigans together. Many things have changed since then but our friendship has braved life’s sometimes chaotic conditions and I am greatful for that.

Grant is one of those electric, contagious people who lives with extreme passion and zeal. He gives 100% percent to absoulutley everything he does! Actually if you haven’t met Grant you probably haven’t met one of those people because he is one of a kind. I love doing impressions and most impressions I do are quite effortless, however every now and then I will imitate Grant for about 30 seconds - leaveing me out of breath and in need of a massage and a nap.

One of the greatest qualities of Grant (there are so many to choose from) is that he loves. No, I didn’t omit a word. He just loves and appreciates everything immensely. He loves his wife. He loves to surf. He loves the youth that he pastors. He loves a good meal, a sunny day, a game of tennis, a hot shower, an old movie. He loves to tell a good story, drink a good coffee, wear a good leather jacket, and recite a good verse. He loves to give, share, treat, compliment, encourage and inspire. On top of all of that he tells the people he loves that he loves them… all the time. What a novel idea. Letting the people that you love know that you love them on a regular basis. It’s so simple but so healthy. This love is so evident in all areas of his life. For example, here is a typical phone greeting and farewell between Grant and me.

Me: “Hello”.

Grant: Yo! Is that Brett Shaw?!”

Me: “Uh…”

Grant: “The Brett Shaw!?!..”

Me: “Uh… yea…”

Grant: “What’s up B-rett, Bretty, Bretstsar, Beautiful man!?!”

Me: “Oh hey man! Not much. How are you doing?”

Grant: “I’m going great buddy! It’s SO good to hear your voice.


                    a few minutes later…


Me: “Okay, sounds great man. I’ll see you then.”

Grant: “Okay champion! Sounds fantastic bro! Can’t wait, It’s going to be AWESOME!! Love you buddy! You ROCK!!”

Me: Haha. Yea man, I love you too.

Grant: “See ya Rock Star!”

Now some of you more sceptical literary types are probably thinking that I have grossly overused exclamation points in that scenario, but let me assure you that they were all necessary. Every. Last. One of them.

Now if a conversation like that aint’ a pick-me-up more effective than coffee then I don’t know what is!

My point is that I think we would all do well to adopt a little bit of Grant’s approach to life - weather it be deeply enjoying every last drop of a caramel latte, loudly rejoicing in every 3ft swell, or telling the people that are dear to us that we love them on a more frequent basis. Or perhaps something as simple as having the phone manner of someone who has just won the lottery. I know I want to live like that.

Let’s begin

So starting this has taken a little(years) longer to start than I had first anticipated - or even promised to some - but I guess I couldn’t settle in my mind what the purpose of a blog was. Was it a platform to voice political opinions? A place to post beautiful pictures and art? A way to make observations you would never say aloud? A place to uncover your inner C.S Lewis? Perhaps a way to keep distant friends up to date on your life, or just a place to reflect on what you really believe. Or just for kicks. All of these are legitimate reasons but I guess I have felt in some way that I could liken blogging to keeping a ‘secret’ journal and then leaving it out in the living room with the hopes that someone comes along and reads it - which was strange to me. But now I see that its more like writing a song or painting a picture of things that matter to you as the writer, and showing it to people who want to hear it, see it, appreciate it, and learn from it. Weather I write about the things I am so grateful for, things that excite me, or annoy me. Or if i write about what my loving God is teaching me, or about the people in my life that I adore. I realize that I ultimatly have a story worth telling. So If this is a way of sharing my story, my journey with a few close friends, I think it is worth doing.