Recently my friend Nathan Martin shared with me an obituary article about the man John Fairfax. Fairfax lived an extraordinary yet insane life filled with adventures rowing boats across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, being a pirate (yes a pirate), living in the Amazon, and playing professional baccarat like James Bond. The article’s writer said it best, “He crossed the Atlantic because it was there, and the Pacific because it was also there.” Read his amazing obituary here. Fairfax seemed like quite a lost person but his sense of adventure and imagination is what inspires me most. If he were alive today, Mark Burnett or another reality show producer would be begging to follow and record his life.
So why do these crazy things?
Fairfax describes why in context of his rowing adventures.
“I’m after a battle with nature, primitive and raw.”
Fairfax reminds me of the movie Big Fish, one of my top 5 inspirational movies. It has so many lessons in it and the main character Edward Bloom is probably related somehow to John Fairfax.
Edward Bloom’s son shares about his father’s immortal life,
In telling the story of my father’s life, it’s impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from the myth. The best I can do is to tell it the way he told me. It doesn’t always make sense and most of it never happened… but that’s what kind of story this is.
It’s easy to dismiss a life like Edward Bloom’s in Big Fish. Edward learned early about his purpose.
It occurred to me then, that perhaps the reason for my growth was I was intended for larger things. After all, a giant man can’t have an ordinary-sized life.
The movie is a reminder that we are all meant for big things in God’s eyes. I want to be remembered for having taken risks and gone on great adventures like John Fairfax or Edward Bloom. Perhaps I yearn for these adventures with a little more purpose to them and do them in a way to help others. Maybe at the end of life, those irrational experiences will actually be my reality, which is in God’s hands. My practical challenge to you is to start with a bucket list and write out 100 amazing things you want to do/experience before you die. I did this when I was 20 and have been keeping track of it since. Go one step further to describe why you will do each item and what the achievement will mean to you and others.
Have you ever imagined your funeral and what would be written in your obituary?
What would they say?
What stories would they tell?