every year around this time i struggle to face the reality of the changing season and the cold and wet that comes with it. to describe it as ‘abrupt’ is an understatement. this past summer was a short one and it was good, but more like a hot spell, not prolonged, but pronounced and demanding.
in august i turned 25 and in many ways this new age already feels similar to our brief hot months. time now seems to be running out. it’s not an hourglass you can flip and start over. maybe it’s the biological clock or the busy calendar. maybe it’s that we’ve been married for three years and have lived in the same place as long. maybe it’s the current sermon series that is challenging us to be intentional with our time, all the time. our days are numbered, says moses (psalm 90:12) and within our own context we can’t make a meaningful life worth anything.
unless we invite God to organize our days by priorities that fit into His context or timeline, our lives are nothing more than one beat of a heart or a raindrop smacking the pavement. though we get older and lose opportunities a day at a time, still we wander without a strong purpose, with no urgency to seek it. this truth solidifies for me now. childhood was an eternity, but adulthood, i am coming to understand, is one single flash of such brief lightning, you’ll miss it if you blink.
of course i read some good books this summer to supplement my free time and came across a chapter called ‘twenty-five’ in shauna niequist’s new book, ‘bittersweet.’ 25 is a pivotal age. all our twenties, really, are pivotal. because it’s not too late to change, but may still be too late to go back. because you’ve probably made some big mistakes by now, but can still redeem them moving forward. because your life may be one-third over, but you still have two-thirds to live. and you get to choose how. here’s an excerpt:
this is the thing: when you start to hit twenty-eight or thirty, everything starts to divide, and you can see very clearly two kinds of people: on one side, people who have used their twenties to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their deep dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults.
and then there’s the other kind, who are hanging on to college, or high school even, with all their might. they’ve stayed in jobs they hate because they’re too scared to get another one. they’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great because they don’t want to be lonely. they mean to find a church, they mean to develop honest, intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. but they don’t do those things, so they live in kind of an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than they were when they graduated college.
don’t be like that. don’t get stuck. move, travel, take a class, take a risk. walk away, try something new. there is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. this season is about becoming.
i’ve said i want this year to be more meaningful than the last, and you know where i begin? in my chair, wrapped in a blanket at 5:30 in the morning with a Bible in my hands and prayers in my mouth. there is no better place to start. but after i go from that place, i still need to make those choices that put me in God’s context: what conversations to have, who to invest in, where to volunteer, what groups to be a part of, knowing when to say no and yes. when the sun sets on my life, when my countdown is out, i want it to add up to something much more than just me. and i’m so glad that it can be.
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