“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” –C.S. Lewis
For as long as I can remember, my life has always had somewhat of a plan– a next step. And by plan, I mean what I envisioned the next step or phase to look like and ideally how I’d like it to go. For the most part, this ‘plan’ has gone fairly smoothly with few hiccups along the way. In high school, I knew I’d go to college next and simply had the task of choosing a school. After college, the next step was nursing school. In nursing school, I knew the next phase was finding a job. You see, each phase lent itself to the next one fairly easily and orderly. I followed the well-trodden path of what many people would consider to be pretty typical for someone in my stage of life. This chunk of life didn’t require a whole lot of thought or contemplation along the way. It was pretty much laid out for me, and one thing led to the next.
I went to school, finished, and now have a job I enjoy and a life that’s pretty great. Only no one tells you what you’re supposed to do next. There’s no longer a set ‘next step’ and I don’t know about all you other new ‘adults’ out there, but for me that’s a tad overwhelming some days. The ‘what am I doing with my life?” thought keeps popping up. “Am I serving the Lord in the ways He designed me to, or just doing what feels comfortable and convenient? Is this my calling for the rest of my life? Is there a next step, or am I right where I need to be?” Maybe you’ve been there, or maybe you’re currently asking yourself the same questions; attempting to seek the Lord’s plans for your life while straining to hear any small whisper telling you you’re on the right track. Dreams and desires waiting to be fulfilled, a wide-open future, and no clear sign pointing towards the right path.
All I know is that my desire is to do God’s will in my life—to serve him with a humble heart and walk obediently in His ways–whatever that may look like. To trust He knows best and to be content in knowing that. I’ve recently found myself praying about this more. “Lord, show me the way. Allow me to follow your path. If I’m not on it, lead me in the right direction.” Recently, I’ve come to the realization this is the first time in my life I’ve had to really rely on God to lead me, to show me the way. And maybe that’s the point, the lesson to be learned. I’ve always felt like I pretty much led the way myself and told God my plans along the way. If He could just help out, and open the right doors, that’d be great. While I don’t think that’s entirely a terrible thing, it required little reliance or faith in Jesus. However, now that I don’t necessarily have a ‘plan’, I’m realizing how beautiful it can be to simply put my trust in the Lord and be perfectly okay with where I’m at. To lavish in the present and not be constantly preoccupied with the future. To understand I don’t have to have a next step lined up—just the faith to believe He’s got the plans already laid out. I think this type of full surrender to the Lord’s will is a hard and vulnerable thing to do, but also so full of wonder at the same time. I love that.
But here’s the other thing I’ve been pondering..
Why do we always get so caught up in the future? What if we just started living in the moment—finding the joy and wonder of the things around us and in our lives currently. I think we can so easily waste away the current season of our lives by looking ahead to the perceived joy just around the corner. Never finding contentment where we’re at because we always want something more. Looking for satisfaction in our jobs, relationships, families, etc.– all the while, Jesus stands alongside with open arms waiting for us to humble ourselves before him and be fully satisfied in him only. Waiting for us to hand the wheel over and let Him be enough. The thing I’ve learned–we’ll never find full contentment on this side of heaven, nor are we designed to. There’ll always be struggles because true contentment won’t be found until we reach heaven. Instead, we have the opportunity to fight for it daily and consistently surrender ourselves and our plans to the Lord. To bring our desires before Him, and trust they’ll be well taken care of. To understand he not only knows the desires of our hearts, but cares deeply about them.
So, take heart and chase hard after your dreams, but don’t lose sight of right where you’re at—there’s plenty of joy and whimsy to be found there too. You just gotta look in the right places.
–Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
P.S. photo cred goes to my gal, Mary Rose. For all things fashion +more, check out her cute little website here!!