Thoughts from back in March //
My mom has this old globe that Daddy gave her, saying he wanted to “give her the world,” or something cheesy-romantic like that.
Have you ever spun a globe, waiting to see where your finger lands when it stops? I did that a lot when I was a kid. I would start on the USA and spin it, faster and faster, blurring into nothing. I would feel the raised mountains and the flat oceans on the pads of my finger.
Life feels like that. It’s all spinning faster and faster, mackling as it plays out. I’m standing in the midst of it and watching from somewhere else, trying to live in it and watch it at the same time, so I won’t forget it.
I can feel the high-highs, the laughter and the coruscating heart bursting joy, and the quiet moments of that deep-rooted peace that come most often at twilight. I can feel the good moments so intensely; they’re incandescent and passionate and good.
I can feel the low-lows, too. I can feel the fear of not knowing what’s coming next, not knowing what to expect, and tumultuous anger at things that are out of my control.
It is all so filipendulous. It is so fragile, this life that we are given. Do you realize? It can end at literally any second, and we waste so much of it on things that don’t matter – on grudge-holding and giving in to fears and arguing just to come out on top. We spend so much time on wanting and getting and taking and wishing, waiting, longing for what’s next, for the raise or the promotion, for the newest and best iPhone or laptop or tablet, on the getting there, focusing on the end game, instead of just living where we’re at and not worrying about tomorrow, because why should we? Tomorrow lies in far more capable hands than ours; who are we to worry?
So, live. Stop worrying. Live courageously. Go on adventures; stop waiting for the Good Times and make your Now the best that it can be. Surround yourself with good people, but make time to be alone, to recharge; to be at peace. Drive without a destination; turn the music up loud and roll down the windows. Scream-sing. Go to lunch with a friend. Cry, full-out sob, because emotions were made to be felt, even the sucky ones.
Just live now, while you can, because at some point it’s over and you can’t get it back.
Back to the Now //
This last week has been a rough one. The last two days, especially. The last two days have been tight-chested and light-headed and heavy-hearted. They’ve been laughter and smiles, because I don’t know how to not be laughter and smiles a lot of the time, but there have been a fair amount of tears and strangled cries and broken prayers, too.
It’s kind of funny how you think you get to a point where you’re stable, but you’re only stable enough to realize that you’re slipping off the edge of a cliff again. You’re just secure enough to realize the impending danger.
College is hard, guys. Keeping up with assignments, getting to work on time, staying focused, staying awake, spending time with Jesus, allowing yourself time to rest, taking time to support those you love –
it’s a hard balance. I keep thinking I’ve got it figured out, but then something gives and I stumble a little. I’ll drop a grade or oversleep on a workday or snap at someone who needed to talk, just to talk, because I was so focused on the multitude of things that need to be crossed off my to-do list, I forgot the point of it all.
Wanna know something?
Love is hard.
Loving someone who wants so desperately to be loved, they’ll do anything, say anything, be anyone – that’s hard. Loving someone who doesn’t want to be loved, someone who hurts others out of their own hurt in order to avoid love – that’s hard, too. Loving people you don’t trust, people you can barely tolerate on the good days, people who take and push and lie and cheat – that’s so hard.
It’s the hardest when I try to love them out of my own meager power.
It’s easier when I let Jesus love them through me, because Jesus’ love is so much better and stronger and forgiving and kind than my love.
My love – man’s love – is built on conditions. It’s built on promises, empty and broken. It’s built on selfishness and arrogance and, sometimes, cruelty.
My love – man’s love – will give up.
But Jesus’ love is gentle in its relentlessness. It’s persistent and determined. It’s sufficient. It is enough. It is accepting and welcoming. It will support you when you feel like you can’t hold yourself up; it will heal all of your wounds, smooth out all of your scars.
Jesus’ love is redemptive.
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
– 1 Peter 2:9-10