It was bright, sunny, AND warm this past weekend. Hello shorts and hello summer! Despite it being Saturday, I managed to roll out of bed at 8:30 and it wasn’t actually painful (I know right!? I almost high-fived myself). Now I’m pretty sure (okay 100% sure) that this was because my motivation was meeting up with some friends for coffee, because not much can get me awake at that hour on a Saturday, but that day the early morning alarm didn’t sting as much and I didn’t forget my lipstick before walking out the door. I had breakfast and an icy, caramel, coffee drink that was kinda heavenly, as well as planned a little bit of a day trip to Brighton friends and I are going to on Sunday (post about the trip coming soon). I didn’t forget to buy envelopes with the bubble wrap inside before coming home again, where I then replied to emails as well as sorted out post I need to mail as soon as possible with the previously mentioned bubble wrap envelopes. Things seemed organized and productive and it wasn’t even past two in the afternoon. Plus, it was Saturday so I could hear the cheers from the crowd at the football game, almost like I was getting my own round of applause for every task I finished.
I couldn’t help but contrast this to the way I felt a few days ago though (see Pursuing Contentment). It was cold, grey, windy, and I 100% did NOT feel like getting out of bed at 8:30 in the morning. Lots of days seemed to go by like that. I hit snooze about thirty times, then realize I’m going to be late if I don’t slap on makeup and run out the door, managing to forget my headphones and an umbrella. So of course it rains, and without my headphones I can’t listen to music and imagine a dramatic music video in my head about how romantic or possibly soul-shattering rain can be (yep I’m one of those).
Now, the title for this post is probably sounding a little ambitious but I’m going to give it a shot. Someone told me the other day that they loved the color-theme for my Instagram and how they wish they “had their life together enough to do that.” I almost said thank you, but then I remembered that I ironed my shirt using my hair straighteners that morning (and well every time that’s necessary), and even though I’ve been in England for two years now I still insist on leaving the house without an umbrella. I just had to laugh.
I definitely don’t have my life together. In all honesty though, I think this phrase is praised a bit too much lately. I guess it’s supposed to mean things like bringing all the elements of your life into your control and exactly how you want them or not letting everything scatter into chaos or other types of things that sound well and good at first. The problem is it’s idolized. I’ll admit that as a college student who doesn’t have the next 50 years of my life all planned out, this way of thinking is discouraging and exhausting. It’s a goal that sticks at the forefront of our minds, making us think, I just have to get there. I just have to reach this. When actually, that isn’t the greatest mindset in the world.
Why? Like I mentioned in my previous post, it’s striving for something we will never achieve because there isn’t a specific point at which we’ll decide we are finally satisfied.
Because no, we won’t ever be satisfied. Saturday was leaps and bounds easier than the day I described from last week, but no matter how color-coordinated my Instagram looks, or how many caramel coffee coolers I have in a day, those things make no day better than the other in terms of value, because it’s not those things on their own that truly matter. The rainy days when everything goes by in a blur – with exams to study for and jobs to find and emails to sort through and blisters to endure – are of no less importance because they offer the same potential as the warm and sunny Saturdays. No matter how easy or difficult any particular day is, it’ll still be here now and gone in 24 hours, just like every single other day.
I want to choose what I value from every day wisely, and not be fooled by what everyone else says I should strive for. After all, I am exchanging a day of my life for whatever I choose to do with it. I’m not about to try and make it look like someone else’s. Unless…it’s the person who designed me and my life to begin with, which leads me to the second reason.
It’s also not the greatest mindset because the whole idea of getting your life together makes it sound like that’s something we must achieve on our own, as if it hasn’t already been put together when it was designed and planned before the earth was made. To answer the title plainly, we shouldn’t worry about how we’re going to get our lives together because someone already has for us.
I don’t want to live my life thinking I just have to get there, I just have to reach this. Now, this isn’t meant to be taken as an excuse to be lazy. There’s something to be said for living life actively and not passively, but I don’t want to get so wrapped up in what I want the future to look like that I forget today, tomorrow, next month, and next year because I’m chasing what won’t satisfy. Instead I want to strive for living my days aware that the Master Plan is much bigger than me and my life. This shifts the focus off of me and what I can do with my life, and over to what God can do to get as much glory out of my life as possible while I step out in faith to reflect him.
So if this is the case, how can I claim that I know what days I deserve to have and which ones are best? Being content with the fact that it is the good and bad days combined that show me what really matters, grants me the freedom of not needing to constantly project an image online to make it seem as though I magically don’t have the messier days. It also frees me from the pressure that says I’m in it alone.
As I said before, I definitely don’t have my life together as far as the way that phrase is normally interpreted. I don’t have an answer to the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and I definitely don’t exercise or drink as much water as I should, and I grumble when I get stuck in traffic that causes a delay that’s over 20 seconds, and I can’t seem to remember to hit the “Eject” button before disconnecting USB drives from my computer. But I’m chasing after the living God who wants to show me how to live a life filled with Love, Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment. This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
While I might not have it all together, there’s a God on the throne in heaven that definitely does, and because of that if for no other reason I can say, “It is well with my soul.”