I constantly find myself dwelling on the what ifs? What if I had that job? What if I had handled something differently, where would I be right now? What if I hadn’t done that ONE tiny thing that landed me in this place called life, but it’s a place I’m not wanting for me? How often do I look at someone else and think, I wish that’s what was going on in my life? I develop some SERIOUS cases of “the grass is always greener” syndrome and so severe, that I’ll do one of two things. One, revert back to freshman year behavior, going out all of the time, acting generally ridiculous, dancing around bars, making spectacles, trying to numb it all away. OR I’ll withdraw from the world completely. I let my bitterness for what’s happening (or not happening) in my own life overtake me, as I covet (ok, a little dramatic) and long for a life that’s not my own.
Here’s the thing though, the Lord says this, in Jeremiah 29:11-13: “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart’ ”. In my Monday night Bible study, led by my good ole’ mom Sandra Loo at the Looney Bin (we call it BS for the wayward Christians), we’re working through a devotional entitled “Jaded” by Mike Harder. It’s all about life sometimes getting us down when we’re deprived of what WE want for ourselves. He speaks on how our hearts can harden as we so often forget, that as faithful Christians, it’s not about what WE want, it’s about what GOD wants for us. Mike specifically says, read this verse and see what the Lord has planned for you, not something random, but something good; something with hope and something with a future.
I’m not here to plagiarize Mike, but here’s what also dawned on me. When I’m not remembering that where I am in life is exactly where God wants me to be; when I’m green grassing everything, I’m actually saying. “Hey guess what God, I think you’re full of it, because where you have me right now sucks, and I’m going to keep dwelling on what I THINK would be BETTER for me, what I WISH I HAD”. And yet, when telling the creator of the universe that he’s chock- full of B.S., I’m distancing myself from Him, creating a huge rift that blocks me from seeing that “hope and future” ahead, that He so intricately has laid out and promised for me.
Right now, I’m in withdrawal mode (quite simply because I gave up drinking for Lent, tell no one I admitted that). I mope around, feeling sorry for myself because my own life is not where I WANT it to be, and thus, I’m proclaiming (and with audacity) my right to let God know he’s not fulfilling his end of the bargain (a “happy” existence). And…I’m wrong. God has me where He wants me, struggling so that I can learn something about myself, and even more so, He’s giving me a chance to truly rely on Him. And yet in my own arrogance and self-imposed idealism, I push Him away. I’ve lost some of my hope, and today, after writing this, I’m praying that I can find it again. I need to get it together, stop green- grassing my way around, and realize that the Lord and everything He has planned for me, is the green grass (pasture metaphors anyone?). I hope someone struggling with their own life right now reads these words, on this beautiful spring day, and can start hoping and praying for the same thing. (I feel like an Amen is appropriate here). Amen.