This post is significantly inspired by a book I am reading entitled A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
When your world is in a tizzy and you don’t know what you’re doing with your life, how do you cope? It’s so easy to lament that everything is meaningless. Lately, since I have nothing I absolutely have to be doing (school, work, internship, etc.) and my interactions outside of family are minimal, and I’m not really serving anybody, I feel like I am kind of a little bit meaningless.
Now, I know in my heart of hearts that is not true. In fact, whether I like it or not, I’m living inside the greatest Story mankind has ever known, and that’s God’s Story. And I am full of meaning because God said, “Lindsey, you’re going to be born, and you are Mine and I will love you eternally.” And if God will die for you before you even existed, you get to thinking that you’re worth a whole lot more than you originally thought. Even without all the pretty décor that’s your street cred, your reputation, your built-up actions that people think make you, you.
The acceptance of having meaning without doing anything to prove it is a life-long struggle. I’m inwardly groaning as I write those words: life-long struggle. That’s the last thing I want to hear.
All that to say, I have learned this:
As a child of God, I am always meaningful, but what I do with my life can absolutely be meaningless.
And as I look for my next step, as I fumble around blindly and try not to choose the wide, easy paths, but the ones that will stretch my faith and thrust me into self-sacrificial love well . . .
And I think of the days, already accumulated into years, that I’ve spent staring at a computer screen.
Ah, I don’t want to while away meaningless years.
God will redeem every moment lived for Him. But I don’t believe God will redeem time spent watching The Blacklist for eight straight hours. Or the time I spend throwing pity parties. Or when I read myself into worlds far away and forget to live in my own.
That is a sobering thought. In the 100 or less years of my life, I can indeed be wasteful with my time.
And God won’t bring it back.
It’s like those movies you grit your teeth at and only sit through because you are with friends and if they aren’t leaving, you certainly can’t leave and everyone knows it’s awful but you paid to see it and oh what a grand, unholy waste it all is!
How do I live day-by-day, moment-by-moment meaningfully?
If I’m really serious about living meaningfully, I need to go through each section of my day in constant conversation with God, asking Him:
“What do You want me to do right now?”
I think I might be surprised that He will respond and that His responses may not be what I expect.
The next step is asking myself:
“How is this thing God wants me to be doing right now meaningful?”
The answer could be as simple as: because watching an episode of Gilmore Girls will help me rest. And rest is meaningful.
But it should never be something like: because I have nothing better to do.
In this way I can be assured that I am living meaningfully. My paranoia can be kept under control.
No one lives the entirety of his or her lives meaningfully except Jesus, and I have no reason to expect I will either. There’s this little idea called grace that tells me I don’t need to be afraid of failure.
But if we all decided to spend more time being intentional about living a better story, how much more meaningful moments could inspire and rejuvenate our lives?