• Edwin Lin

I want to live.

Captain McCrea: Out there is our home. HOME, Auto. And it's in trouble. I can't just sit here and...and...do nothing. That's all I've ever done! That's all anyone on this blasted ship has ever done. Nothing! Auto: On the Axiom, you will survive. Captain McCrea: I don't want to survive. I want to LIVE.

Taken from Pixar's "Wall-E."

I was watching Wall-E this morning (while playing WoW... yeah I know, I multitask wayyyy too much), and when this scene po

pped up, I couldn't help but look up and actually watch it. Quick synopsis for those of you who don't remember (or haven't seen it) **SPOILERS AHEAD**: Eve comes back from Earth having found proof that life is once again inhabitable. Although the Captain wants to head back home, Auto, the pilot's automated co-captain, was given secret orders to never return to Earth again. This results in, what becomes, the primary conflict in the movie. This got me thinking: Am I just desiring to survive or desiring to actually live? I must admit, lately, I have become pretty accustomed and happy with just surviving. My days have become super packed, routine, yet well-rounded. I have time to work, time to go to class, time to teach, time to spend with Elanor, time to pray, time to play.... Despite this enjoyable and relatively balanced lifestyle, I still find myself wanting more. It's pretty easy, I imagine, to slip into just being satisfied with all these things. I'm financially secure. I have an incredible job ripe with possibilities. I have an amazingly supportive and loving wife. I have awesome friends and a great church community. Yet, despite all these things, something in me still knows that all I'm doing is surviving. At first, I thought that this must have to do with simply never having enough time. I miss those days when I had lots of free space to just take walks, to play until I'd much rather do work, to hang out with friends late into the night, to not have to keep thinking about the next thing I have to do. But when I thought about it further, I realized that even during those times, I still felt like I was just surviving. I suppose at first, I would feel more alive, but eventually I would reach a point where I felt the same trudging along. It's kind of interesting. The world tells us that the more we do, the more successful we are, the more lives we improve, and the more progress we create, the more meaningful our lives will be. As beautiful and as poignant as Captain McCrea's words are, doing something instead of nothing won't truly lead him to life. He'll still be surviving... just distracted enough by the newness of it all that he won't mind the surviving. Ironically, and unfortunately, the church (read: big-R Religious institution) tells us that the better people we are, the more we love, the more people we help, and the more people we bring to knowing Christ results in true living and not just surviving. Maybe there is a grain of truth amidst these ideas (I haven't ruled it out... yet), but everything inside of me says that if there is some truth, it truly is only a grain. I am going to spend some time thinking and praying more about these things in the backdrop of my current busy lifestyle. I'll do some reading, some posting, some reflecting (probably over the course of the next few weeks or even months), and I trust that God will reveal more and more about what it means to live and not just survive. I have some ideas about what this kind of living could be related to: the spiritual realm (commonly understood as spiritual warfare), Christ living in us, abiding in His love, storing up treasures in heaven, afterlife... but, as you can tell, these ideas are a mess at the moment, and sadly (as well as ironically), I don't have the time or space (read: determination or focus) to delve in confidently and deeply. But today is a first step. I didn't even realize that I was just wanting to survive. Like, Captain McCrea, I want to live.