A few weeks ago I sat on my friend’s sofa talking about everything from the best playlist to politics to the deep depths of our hearts. Our history together dates back to early high school. She knows all the good and all the bad, which I value.
Throughout our conversation we got stuck on the idea of what society expects next for us, all of us.
In life certain milestones occur. You are born. You grab a finger, rollover, laugh. Nature takes its course throughout your path along human development.
Eventually along with biological milestones societal milestones began to impose themselves on our lives. You enter school. You’re supposed to read at a certain age, pass a test, go to a dance, graduate from high school, go to college or have a plan. And then you are supposed to find a career that you love, get married, have kids and retire to tour the continental United States in a RV.
But what if life looks different?
What if your life does not match what the world deems a “normal” path?
Does not traveling the road most people take mean life is missing something? Does it mean your life lacks in some bleak way?
Why do we allow these imposed milestones to dictate so many of our actions?
Our conclusion on the sofa that evening, we put far too much meaning and merit on the milestones instead of the moments.
What if we focused on the thing God has for each of us now instead of what we or others think should happen next?
In many different seasons I tried for many many many years and many different ways to force what I felt should be my next big life markers. We all do in some ways. But once I threw up my hands and surrendered to what the Lord had for me, I began to see the real beauty around me. I started to see and embrace the fullness of my life and the beauty surrounding me where I was, not where I thought or others thought I should be.
My heart shifted from resenting to rejoicing. I may still live in a place I fought to leave at a job I only planned to have for one year as a still single girl; but God has turned my eyes to Him in new ways with a new and ever deepening depth.
I do not have “the nexts” I thought I needed, instead I have a now that holds far more beauty, joy, meaning and purpose than I could dream up with my feeble human mind. We all get a now that holds beauty, hope and life. Look for your now. Foster that moment over the expected milestone and see what happens.
I am learning to continually sit in awe of how God unfurls my life. And let me tell you, the life He keeps writing for me is filled with sunsets on top of mountains, tears on sofas, hikes carved out through river beds, grocery store runs that turn into dance parties, talks on porches with coffee, epic road trips, a community that pushes and loves me, and more beauty and wonder than seems possible just to highlight a few things.
As the chaos and pressure of the world swirl around you, I challenge you to see the now you find yourself in. What beauty does it hold? What hope can rise from where you currently sit? What about where you are can enrich your life, the lives around you for good? See what happens next when you chase those questions with God. I bet it leads you somewhere off the normal path and into the wonderment of a life fully lived with Christ.