Life is about..

There are a lot of experts on life. At least that’s what I hear by listening to others. Everyone seems to have a take on how life should be lived. And few are willing to take time to listen to others, let alone consider another viewpoint. I know I sometimes think my two cents counts for five but I aim to keep my mouth shut a little more often. To realize that most people have something to say if I’ll give them the time.

The one form of so called advice that really irks me is when people try to sum up all of their knowledge or worse yet, the entirety of human understanding with the phrasing ‘Life is all about..’

Timing.

Second chances.

Forgiveness.

Trying.

Making a difference.

Following your heart.

Making money.

Being true to yourself.

Compromise.

Taking chances.

Being happy.

It’s not that any of these things are inherently bad ideas. But to boil everything possible down and direct one’s life focus toward something so simplistic is self limiting. I think people usually mean well when they share words like these. They have an outlook that’s been shaped by personal experience and want others to know how to traverse a season of life better. I get that.

I just think we live in something so beautifully complex that to say something like that isn’t just cute, but is actually dangerous in how it limits our thinking. I don’t think our pursuits should ever stop including gathering more wisdom. But what if knowing that there’s a lot we don’t know was actually empowering? If I were to grab a Sharpie and shade out a pie chart of the things I don’t know versus the ones I do, I’m pretty sure I’d need a second marker. I love being able to find magnificence in the mystery of the journey. I’d rather see myself always in the process of becoming, not as something I’ve become. I know that God’s granted me the capacity to love well in this life. I’m not sure what else this life has to offer. And I’m okay with that.

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Gleaning for meaning

I don’t know about everyone else, but I can find meaning in anything given time. I’m the kind of guy who often reads too much into a situation. He must be mad at me because he didn’t reply to my Facebook even invite. She’s totally into me, she smiled at me twice! This seems to be a quick trigger response that I’ve grown to rationally question myself afterwards to sift for any validity.

As I’ve matured, I realize most of the time I skew what I see in a way that fits what I’m desiring or expecting. I’m all for praying for knowing God’s will. I hope for discernment to be able to make good steps. But I regularly meditate just long enough to feel good about the decision I know I already want to make. I like the phrase my pastor likes to use, “I want patience, and I want it now!” But what exactly does knowing I’m going to seek self gain mean for me?

For starters, I can rest a little easier knowing that every little thing doesn’t have to be so heavy. Probably most importantly I know to press on and seek God out in the middle of what I’m in. I feel like my growth is usually found in the in between. Learning to quietly wait on God, serving faithfully in the meantime, isn’t a passive decision. It’s in that where I take faithful steps, proofing what I see, hear, and feel by what scripture says. God speaks in many different ways. I am sure that I’ve heard Him speak to me on a few occasions. But it’s rarely something I can feel sure in when it doesn’t challenge me. If it’s leading me towards something I already hope for, it may just be my own inclination. I’m glad that God wants more for me than just to serve my desires.