Wednesday, 31 August 2016

3 eye-openers from the BFG Dream Jar Trail

Growing up I loved Roald Dahl's BFG. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to hear of not just Spielberg's take on it, but the BFG Dream Jar Trail around London for Save the Children. The trail featured a total of 50 jars that depict the dreams of a number of celebrities; 46 placed around the capital and 4 elsewhere. Today marked the final day of the trail, and the day I ticked off all the available jars in London.

It was good fun and a great excuse to explore our gorgeous capital. I discovered so many hidden gems in the city I call my home, and met a lot of interesting people. I've enjoyed reading about the dreams I've been chasing and above all, having my eyes opened to truths I've dismissed - these I hope to share with you in this post.

1. I quit because I'm lazy!

My parents will tell you that I've started many things. They'll also tell you that I've quit most of those things. If you'd like examples of interests that fell into that category, there's stamp collecting, piano, guitar, drums, rowing...I could literally go on forever! In fact whenever I announce that I'm planning to pursue a new hobby, I get a sarcastic, 'Sure...' - and rightly so! I think we all knew the BFG Dream Jar Trail was going to end up on that list. I started it on the 3rd of August and quickly forgot about it when I left on holiday. When I returned however, something changed; I realised the trail closed in two days - that's two days to see 40 jars. I could have given up on it and add it to my list of quits, or proved myself wrong. I'm glad I chose the latter.
I got up early two days in a row, and walked till I could feel my feet no longer, but I surprised myself in ticking all 40 jars off the list.
I have proved to myself that I am no quitter. As shameful as it is to admit, I have proved to myself that I am lazy. I am the same person who started all those things I quit. I didn't quit them because I lost interest, instead I was too lazy to try a little harder when it got tough, too lazy to put that extra bit of effort to get better.
As the saying goes, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' - for all those times I've quit, I can see I was not too tough, but I feel this trail has shown me that I can be tough.

2. Be bold enough to start chasing your dream, welcoming enough to let others journey alongside you, and humble enough to call for help

I have many dreams but I am often reluctant to start pursuing them myself. I don't know what it is, perhaps the need for reassurance, or the fear of facing things myself, but I prefer tagging along with someone. This is particularly true for spiritual assignments I feel God nudging me to do - instead of getting to it immediately, I spend hours, or even days trying to find someone who'll join me. The trail helped me see that making the start is always the hardest because I'm blinded by my hyperbolic preconceptions, these soon shatter in light of reality.
Moreover, once I was on the trail, I met a lot of people, young and old, also on the trail. Every person I met was at a different stage - one lady had just a handful of jars remaining, a cute elderly couple were at the same stage as me, and a family just started the trail. It was lovely to see we all shared something in common, no matter how trivial, it united us. There were smiles, knowing nods and even an exchange of tips. Likewise, when we cross paths with fellow believers, no matter where they are on their walk with the Lord, let us seek to build each other up and focus on who unites us, Christ.
There were some jars that were particularly difficult to find, like the three hidden in Harrods. My dad and I spent A LOT of time trying to find them but to no avail. I had to finally give up and ask one of the sales attendants for help. In life, we will face situations where we are truly lost, in those moments let us shed our pride and seek for help.

3. Embrace spontaneity

My dream jar trail didn't go exactly to plan. For starters, I was hoping to complete it before my holiday, and see all 46 jars. I completed it on the last day possible, and missed 3 jars which were removed earlier than expected. In addition to that, I left home with a solid and detailed plan, however en route, I sometimes realised that some jars were further away or there were transport delays and I had to improvise. Spontaneity uplifted my pursuit by pumping excitement into my weary, energy-depleted self. Things won't always go to plan, no matter how meticulous your planning. Instead of despairing over what should've been, embrace the moment and take it from there.

I got a bit carried away watching GBBO and catching up on some other shows, and really want to post this by midnight. I know it is rushed but I hope I made some sense! Bottom line, even though my feet are throbbing right now, I loved the BFG Dream Jar Trail!

I'll leave you with my favourite jar, 'Ship of Dreams' by Sir Ben Ainslie