Introspection: My Weekend Outlook Overhaul
27 October 2014
This weekend I had a really great overhaul on my outlook on life.
I realized that I've been forcing myself to live in a state of make-do limbo until I am in the "meaningful" life circumstances I'd like to have.
For example, I haven't organized some places in our house, even though we've been there months. I've caught myself saying, "Eh, well it's good enough for now" about things in our home that I could change. I haven't been putting forth the effort to completely unpack and settle in because "we aren't going to be here that long anyway." Why buy holiday decorations? Who cares? I clean to keep ants out, not to make my home a comfier place to be for myself and Jacob. Just doing the minimum.
I've been putting all of my emphasis on the future when I'm at that job doing the purposeful work I'm supposed to do, not the pay-the-bills work I'm doing now. I've focused on the nebulous future instead of the here and now because the future is where my important work is. This stuff right now is mediocrity.
I realized that I've been looking at my life all wrong.
I've been putting my hope in having an adventurous, adrenaline-packed career as a linguist, helping bridge gaps between people groups. I looked at that as being my life of purpose, a life of meaning. Not the day-to-day plodding I'm doing right now. Someday when I get to that job and that life, then I'll be doing important things. Then God will proud of me because I'm doing lots of obviously good things, trying to make a difference in the world. My value will come from that job.
Jesus really cut through that ridiculousness and clarified things for me this weekend. (Yes, Jesus and I talk often. I know some of you don't believe in that sort of thing, but I definitely do and I'd be glad to talk about it with you should you ever wonder about it.)
God showed me that living a life of purpose and meaning isn't about doing a certain task or having a certain job. He showed me that living a purposeful life is about taking the circumstances He gives me now and making them the most beautiful I possibly can.
I don't have to wait until I'm at my "dream job" to live a life of value. What if I never get to that job? What if life just takes a different course? What if my life isn't an action-packed thriller full of intrigue and adventure every day? What if my life is more about the day-to-day, normal life stuff?
If you had asked me how I felt about a "normal" life only a little while ago, I would have told you I had extreme disdain for it. I wanted adventure! I wanted adrenaline! I wanted a more "noble" task than just comfy, normal life! Don't tie me down, man!
I still want those things, but I no longer find my life's value in them. I have realized that I can live meaningfully without them. There is a wonderful art to taking normal, everyday life and making it beautiful, and that is the kind of life God is asking me to live. He is proud of me for being a person of character, not for doing a bunch of good tasks.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is totally freeing to me. God isn't waiting for me to hurry up and make something of my life that he can be proud of; He's already given me a life he's proud of, purpose and meaning already included. I make him proud by doing the daily life things I need to do with integrity, intentionality, and grace, by being faithful to my commitments, and by loving the people he has put around me.
For me, one way this is intentionality put into action is by taking pride in my home, not just making do with it, and opening it to others. I'm motivated to make it truly beautiful, to add little decor touches, to keep it organized, and to make it really work for Jacob and me. Heck, I bought a Christmas wreath the other day! I'm motivated to re-do some things in our home and I'm actually excited about it!
How do you feel about your "normal" everyday life? How do you cope with what can sometimes become dull routine? What gives your life purpose and meaning?
P.S. The Two Year Anniversary Giveaway is still going on! Don't forget to enter for lots of prizes!