My friend recently called it an "Ecclesiastes" moment - that post graduation time in your life when you realize that everything you've worked for in your life is pretty much meaningless - and ironically, I think its accelerated by belief in God. I don't think everyone experiences this, it depends on the circumstances, it may even happen later in life, but I do know it happens. There is absolutely nothing new under the sun! Well, nothing new that really matter, and in the end we all die anyways. SO WHAT IS THE POINT? I know the right answer is to glorify God through our lives and share the Good News with other people but this is not the American plan! This is not the dominant culture I've been raised in - where I've put so much ambition. No! The plan (at least the unredeemed plan, the one that's in the back of every American's head) was to work hard in high school, go to an Ivy League college (yeah, that one didn't work), get an awesome job helping people or doing something cool like becoming an Ambassador to Croatia or such, buy a sailboat and make wonderful french toast breakfasts for my grandchildren during the summers we'd spend in St. Lucia.
Okay, I realize I sound like freak, and its true. But I'm beginning to understand why so many women get married out of college - it gives us something to live for, a purpose, a plan. I am actually laughing inside as I think about what some of you may be thinking at this moment "is she ok? does she need a hug?" Well, I think am, but that's not really the goal, is it?- Sometimes you have to wrestle with things in life and its not meant to be nice, easy as pie, open your Bible up to the perfect page and soothe your fears away (although that sometimes does happen).
So back to the "purpose, reason to get up in the morning" thing. I don't normally go to Rick Warren for spiritual quotations (not that he's misguided or anything, I just mean it literally, I don't normally go to him for resource), in fact, his book is still collecting dust on my shelf, but he's got it right when he said, “The purpose of your life is far greater that your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God…You exist because God wills that you exist. You were made by God and for God—and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny.”
That can seem like a very one dimensional, coverall Christian answer to life - but I'd bet the sum total of my school loans, no small chunk of change, that its a complex statement that's worth looking into.
Here's another enlightening one - pointing to the social nature of humans: “NBA championship teams have something in common: they play with one goal in mind. Each player contributes his own gifts and efforts so that that greater goal—winning—can be reached. But players who seek their own glory at the sacrifice of the team’s glory drive the team away from success. So it is with life. The goal is not our own glory. In fact, trying to make life ‘all about us’ pushes happiness further out of reach…God does not exist to make a big deal out of us. We exist to make a big deal out of him. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s all about him…Life makes sense when we accept our place. The gift of pleasures, the purpose of problems—all for him. The God-centered life works. And it rescues us from a life that doesn’t.”
I've heard these things so many times that they've begun to make me angry. Where's the love? I need some, is it theologically correct to ask for love and believe that God gives it? It sure doesn't feel like it - asking for love is selfish. Do you understand the crazy thoughts going through my head? Its a bit frustrating when you know the answers to your questions but the desperate tension in your heart and teenage rage in your chest refuses to subside. Whatever, walk it off.
So here I sit, at the end of my plan, summer passing through, two classes to finish, little ambition, grand delusions broken like the wine glass I shattered on Europe tour (don't worry, there was water in it), no money, and no plan - and still wealthier than 98% of the people in this world, which doesn't really help with the guilt and desperation. But I have to admit, this writing thing sure does make things a bit clearer - makes God a bit closer, and my heart beat a bit slower. What a funny creature I am, I'm already falling back in love with Him. In a normal conversation I would have apologized at least eight times by now for jumping around so much - but tonight I offer no apologies - tonight I fully admit it, I am human.
And I really like flowers.