Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with life. It’s tiring and confusing and hard.
This morning as I was piling out of the train among what felt like thousands of Japanese people I thought to myself.. “I just have to get through it.” And no, that’s definitely not a life-sucks-throw-in-the-towel idea but rather an I’m-so-sick-of-all-this-being-in-the-world-stuff.. I’m so frustrated by my sin and stupidity. I’m frustrated with the evil I see in the world. I’m frustrated by the fact that I can be in a good place all morning and then some random thought flies into my brain and I’m back to zero.
Being human is hard.
Brooke Fraser sings that song based on a C.S.Lewis quote about how “I was made for another world…” It has been stuck in my head. We aren’t supposed to be at home here. I keep reading things about this idea: being made for eternity. It’s only recently that I’ve identified a longing in me that hasn’t been present before. A longing for a different place. A longing to relax in the eternal presence of God.
It’s only recently that I have started really wanting that. It’s only recently that my eyes have been opened to the idea that I don’t actually belong here. I was created for a different place. Nothing on this planet was meant to satisfy me.
But it’s a tricky balance right? I mean there is the whole, let’s make the most of this opportunity, we only have one life to live etc etc and we should live purposefully and wisely and enthusiastically and cheerfully, giving each day all we’ve got. But at the same time, we need to remember that this is all so very temporary.
And so we can think two ways about this. First of all, it doesn’t matter if all our earthly desires don’t come true. It doesn’t really matter where I live, who I live with, where I travel to. I remember moping about being single once and thinking, “so what, it’s another 50-60 years… it’s not a big deal” and in the light of eternity, it isn’t. Sure, I might get sad and lonely and frustrated but if I know that eternity with God is waiting for me, surely I can handle a few more Valentine’s Days alone. The fact is, whatever I want and desire on this earth, will not satisfy me completely. I am not to be satisfied until I am resting in the presence of God. So whether it’s a desire for a man or a macbook, it won’t necessarily provide any lasting happiness in itself. I don’t mean to be trite here and I in no means mean to say that I’m 100% happy to be single (I’m working on it but it’s a process) but what I’m trying to say is that surely we can endure what we’re called to endure on this temporary planet.
And not just endure but we should really be called into action and service and do all we can for God. I’m reading David Platt’s second book, yes, I fear I’ve become a bit of a groupie, which deals with how living for Christ, really does mean a dying to self, a willingness to forsake everything in our paths to follow Him. That’s a big thing.
And so I try to put this all together in my head.. the fact that I’m frustrated with life sometimes, that I can be easily disappointed, that I’m worried about the future.. and then I try to add onto it the idea that this life is temporary and at any moment I could end up leaving this earth and stand before God, I add onto that, the idea that everything I’m doing now counts. I try to remember that God has a plan and a purpose and so what if I’m not totally comfortable with the way things go.. I’m called to follow Him and obey Him and at the end, I get to be with Him forever. That’s pretty cool.
And so I take those moments of frustration and feeling unsettled and longing for eternity and I remind myself and comfort myself with the idea that I’m here now and only for a while and so I should do all I can with the time I’m given.
Something amazing awaits me and I can hold onto that hope while I get busy down here.