Today my twin brother and I will extend our birthday celebration by over two months through our gift exchange with one another. There is no reason for the delay. Time simply ran away.
Two months into my thirty-ninth year and daily I am reminded of who I am not.
- (Twenty-Something) Young.
- Renowned Speaker, Writer, Activist and World-Changer (or FBI agent) impacting thousands while living missionally in my community and world.
And what I have.
- Two jobs.
- Student Loans.
These things alarm me and my mind runs crazy. Who will know if something ever happens to me? Will I be alone until I pass? Who will take care of me when I’m old? I’m already tired but with no savings, how will I ever retire?
I remember the purpose, passion, and studies of my early career and seminary years. The depth of conversations over issues of biblical theology, theology proper, and practical theology, as well as the daily opportunity to mentor and counsel. “Memories” remind me that I no longer have the same vocational focus or study habits. Today, and many days, I am simply looking forward to home and rest.
I am not who I want to be.
Platitudes are unnecessary because Internet memes frequently convey most of them through pretty pictures and inspirational quotes. Seminary, bible studies, and personal study tells me the Truth of who I am as a daughter of Christ and the spiritual foundations that are certain. I know the many blessings that can be added to the list of “what I have”, including: life, family, friends, a position with a purposeful, high-integrity organization, and two dogs that bring life and laughter to the house I call home.
But I am not who I want to be.
I stumble and grasp after the time that is running away from me, the things I still want to do, and the person I still want to be.
And I wonder.
Will I ever reach them?
The questions are persistent in their presence:
- Why am I in this (relative) place?
- How do I become more healthy?
- How do I become more dedicated in my spiritual life?
- How do I become a better sister, daughter, friend, and employee in the absence of the other things I want?
- How do I become a better Christian?
- Do I still have time to make an impact, on one life or the world?
- Will I simply get the dishes washed today?
I understand anew the withering that takes place in my vision and life when I focus inward. Slowly, and often imperceptively, I lift my head and adjust my gaze. The questions begin to change.
Am I a faithful disciple who receives Christ’s grace, mercy, and love?
Will I demonstrate these same gifts to every person I come into contact with today?
Ultimately my thoughts and my meditation turn me to the Creator of the Universe. I remember that man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. I remember that each day I am in the process of becoming who He designed me to be, regardless of what I want, regardless of the joys or the longing and the pain that remain.
And I recite, “Thy will be done.”
The process will repeat itself tomorrow because I am not who I want to be.
But today I will have a cupcake in celebration of my birthday.
7 I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
8 I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.