Friday, September 28, 2012
Right Now Is Good
I'm having a moment of deep contentment with my life. They hit me every once in a while. I'll be driving, or hanging out with friends, or on the couch with my cats, and I'll just think, My life is really okay. For a little while I'm untouched by worries about the future, or the constant feeling that I'm a disappointment. I can exist in the moment, knowing that while I still wish some things were different, what is RIGHT NOW is good and fulfilling and can be honoring to God. I can even choose to be simply thankful for these moments of clarity, instead of turning around and scolding myself for not feeling that way all the time.
The irony is, even in a lot of Christian culture, we're no longer really encouraged to feel content with our lives. Contentment breeds laziness and not living up to our full potential. Contentment means we must not be aware enough of our sin. Contentment makes you happy with the simple things in life, instead of endlessly striving to build something important and lasting. My small group leader recently gave me a copy of Kevin DeYoung's book Just Do Something, after I mentioned struggling with fear of making wrong decisions. The book really encouraged me - it's challenging in a helpful way, not a despair-inducing way. What struck me most about it was DeYoung's observation that our generation approaches life decisions in the opposite way from the last few generations. For the most part, our parents and grandparents didn't get all angsty about the direction of their lives. They chose a career, chose a spouse, moved forward on that path, and did the best they could. Whereas our generation is told that we have to keep working until we achieve THE BEST. Only THE BEST possible avenue for our lives will do. It's not enough to have a job - it has to be the RIGHT job, your CALLING. If you get married, first make sure that person is God's perfect choice for you! It's exhausting, and DeYoung gently suggests that it's all a bunch of crap. The important thing is loving God, keeping His commandments, and developing wisdom, and letting everything else fall into place. That philosophy gives me permission to enjoy life. I'm not saying we shouldn't have goals, but it's okay to take joy in a pile of clean laundry (even though it'll be dirty again tomorrow) or a well-composed e-mail (even though only one person will see it) or brunch on the porch with friends on a sunny day. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, not to complete intensive five-, ten- and twenty-year plans.
On that note: Happy weekend!