You know something crappy about the expectations of others? They weigh down on you even when you’ve no intention of heeding them.
Pardon my pessimistic observation, and understand that I fully appreciate the mentorship and guidance of others. But I’m also in a season of life where there’s a gaping hole (nay, a canyon) where others’ plans for me used to be.
At the risk of sounding like a winey millennial, allow me to explain: First, I was enrolled in preschool. That led to elementary and middle and high. And oh yes, of course I was going to college, so I selected my top choices and moved myself to Indy. That was a hard decision, but relatively mapped out. I wanted something within three hours, strong academics, strong athletics. And Butler took the cake.
Now that I’m two months shy of college graduation, those parameters are much broader. I want to writer or do PR, in Columbus or Indianapolis. I need to work for a company I’m passionate about, and I need to be able to pay the bills. Oh, but also: I might be willing to move, might be willing to spread my wings and fly a bit. There’s also the possibility of making a career out of writing. And certainly, I can do all these things after I graduate or I could take six months to travel and volunteer first.
So, basically: I have a multi-tiered, circuitous plan that doesn’t have any clear direction. Coming from the person who has matching, color-coordinated physical and digital calendars: This is a tough pill to swallow.
And the reason I write this, is because I know I’m far from alone. Whether you’re finishing out your college days or moving from one stage of adulthood to another: We’re all a little unsure of our future direction.
But I’ve been comforted lately by the faithfulness of the Lord in the lives of the Israelites. Over the past year, I’ve poured through the Old Testament, learning about the God’s chosen people. Turns out, they were far from stellar in their track record of obedience. They begged for God to deliver them from slavery, then they begged for Him to take them back. They complained they didn’t have enough food, and then they groaned that God was providing them with the same food all the time (Numbers 11:4). They whined “Give us a king like those other nations,” and then they were angry that the whole king-arrangement didn’t work out so well.
Basically: They were consistently inconsistent in their pursuit of God. Kind of like me. Kind of like you, I would guess.
Despite all that, God had a plan for them. He had a plan that wove beauty out of their murderous, incestuous, idolatrous hearts. Why? Because He loved them. They were His.
Friends, we are in the same situation. We are going to mess up. We are going to fall flat on our faces every once in a while. But the God of the Israelites and the Lord over sin and death, is madly in love with us. And He’s going to do everything He can (aside from infringing our free will) to draw us nearer to Him for ultimate, unending joy.
Even when we don’t know what direction He’s taking us, we can know that it is good. Even when we feel like we’ve screwed up one too many times, we can know that He is good.
How awesome is that?!