“The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
I first heard this quote when I was a senior in high school. The second I heard it, I knew that it was a quote I would always adore. This is one of the only quotes I've heard that leaves me breathless; makes me have an urgency to live to the fullest. Sure, there are much better reasons to live to the fullest (ya know... like, Jesus), but for whatever reason, when I read this quote I am struck with a sense of passion that almost knocks me off my feet. "I need to be more", I hear somewhere inside me. Not a self-loathing voice, but one that cheers "Come on, Kristin! You can do it! There's more for you to do". Quotes like these need to be held onto.
But why does this particular quote captivate me? What about these words are so different from other "motivational" quotes?
I think I love this quote so much because it portrays a good kind of crazy. To be "mad" usually has a very negative connotation, usually one that is associated with insane asylums and straight jackets. But here, "mad" is a positive kind of craziness. It's the craziness that keeps us moving forward; the kind that gives us momentum to chase after our passions, and to persevere towards what matters most.
To be mad to live is to be in love with life.
I want to be in love with life.
As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, loving life is not always a natural tendency. Do I love my life and the blessings God has given me? Yes! But sometimes it's hard to stay positive and thankful, even when I should be.
But when I read this quote, the flame inside me ignites. I want to be mad for all those things: for God, for my marriage, for my friendships, for my dreams and goals, for the spectacular!
And that leads me to this thought: Isn't God so amazing, that He can use a random quote from my high school English textbook- one that isn't a scripture or from a devotional book- and He can take that and use it for His glory! So cool!
I mean, I knew that about Him already, but I still think that is awesome. We don't have to spend every moment reading scripture to be prompted by God, and we don't have to be in the middle of our quiet time to hear God's voice. God uses lots of different things to make us mad: mad for Him, mad for love, and mad for life.
What has God made you "mad" for lately? How can you act on what He has sparked in your heart?