Thursday, July 31, 2008

If Life is Always Spent Preparing, What Does That Mean About Death?

Okay, so maybe that title is a wee melodramatic. Maybe that's because I'M pretty melodramatic.

I was just contemplating how in every stage of life, I look ahead. What does this job mean for my resume? If I sign this lease, what am I committing myself to?

I know there are times of preparation. Almost everyone goes through 13 years of schooling and a lucky few of us get to study for longer. You pay your dues in internships and cubicles, earning next to nothing (and literally nothing, in some cases). Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness. Jacob ran away from home and worked for his father-in-law for 14 years.

So I think the time of preparation varies based on person and circumstance, but I'm impatient, and I do not want to prepare for 40 years before I get into "really living."

When Summit was at the old building, I remember JD talking about 'times in the wilderness,' like Moses's or Daniel's. Those are the times that life is quiet and rather dull and we are learning to "be faithful in the little things."

But maybe I'm completely wrong. Maybe even the times in the wilderness are part of "really living." Just because it ain't exciting doesn't mean it ain't good. (That's a big statement for me-- I hate being bored, or even just being quiet.)

So as I try to plan my weekend and see if there's anything I can do to fill up the empty hours, I need to remember my best memories from childhood are playing on the stairs with Shaun, building with the lincoln logs and setting up the plastic dinosaurs or playing Monopoly every day for weeks, watching "Muppet Treasure Island" over and over again ("the feast of saint lulu!" "Sweetums! Big fat baby eating O'Brien!"), and lying on the carpet reading "A Little Princess" and "The Secret Garden." The simple things, the 'boring' times, the mundanity and banality of life. Growing up will never be finished, I daresay.

If I stop thinking about how I should be preparing, I bet the preparation will just happen, and whenever something monumental comes along, I'll be ready. I won't even believe how it happened-- just so smoothly, as if Someone planned it-- but I'll be able to do whatever it is that comes along. Because, right now, I don't even know what I should be preparing for! Should I prepare to be a wife or prepare to live as an old maid? Should I prepare for a professional career or for raising four children? Should I prepare to live abroad or settle down in my home state, where I've already lived for almost 20 of my 23.5 years?

So, obviously, God's going to call the shots today that will make me into who I'm supposed to be tomorrow. I think that idea goes along with the whole "don't worry about tomorrow" bit; that if I just sit back and relax, work on the Spiritual Disciplines and grow in contentment, peace, and security in my identity and my God, then everything will fall into place.

Matthew 6:33...Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. -- the Living Translation. First pursue God and everything closest to his heart, and then all your other concerns will resolve themselves -- my paraphrase.

Basically, I need to stop worrying about what I'm doing with my life. To know God is the greatest thing.