In the past week, I’ve come to the realization that I am simply content right now.
For all my life, I’ve been a planner. I have enjoyed knowing plenty of details of the next month, next week, next hour. Without enough details, I faltered.
I can’t explain what’s changed, but over the past few months, I’ve gradually become more at peace with the moment. Instead of having to know all the details, I have found that I am content to let things happen as they will. To live in the present. To trust that God’s best for me is better than any amount of planning I can do.
When I realized last week that somewhere along the way I began to accept where I am, a part of me wanted to rebel against it. To draw a line in the sand and come up with a definitive 5 year plan for my life, career, relationships, ministry.
While I’ve always described contentment as an ideal, finding that I was actually moving in that direction, created some discontent in my life. In some ways, I was fighting off the thought that being content with my current “transition” phase meant resigning myself to be stagnant and lazy.
In some segments of Christianity, the concept of “God’s will for my life” is idolized. This is the idea that God has a very specific task for you to do that is huge and important and only you can do. So, until you’ve finished college, got married, bought the right house, and had kids, you find yourself waiting for the time you can finally get settled into exactly what God has for you.
While I worked at Grace Adventures summer camp, Steve Prudhomme, the president of the camp, used to talk about God’s will. Except Steve didn’t talk about it in the ways that I described above. He said we were asking the wrong question if we were seeking out “God’s will for my life”. The right question to ask is “What is God’s will?” God’s will is far more broad than where I should go to school, what job I should take, who I should marry, etc. God’s will is what God desires for all of creation. It’s big picture. It is the story of the redemption of the world. God’s will is to restore the world to its pre-fall condition. To make everything new.
God is achieving this through His Church. He invites us all to join in with Him in setting things right in the world by ushering in the love of the Kingdom now. This is something that God started with Christ and is continuing up until that glorious day when everything has been set right. From a right view of “What is God’s will?” the only next step is to find ways to join Him in what He’s already doing.
This means that no matter where we are, we can be in God’s will. Simply by loving others and finding ways to live out that Kingdom love, we are freed up to no longer need a 5-year plan from God. We don’t have to be anxious about getting to this place where we will finally be doing God’s will for our lives. We can do that HERE. Now.
RELEVANT Magazine had a great article about this a few months ago. The article was simply called “You are Here” and encouraged those of us living in the mundane to be content where we are. We don’t have to go somewhere far away or start some giant new project in order to be serving God. We can do that HERE. Now.
As all of these thoughts have rushed in to combat the lie that being content means I am somehow less productive, I have found peace.
Sure, I have plenty of reasons to worry, fret, and be anxious, but I am not.
I’m on the “job hunt”, unsure of what exactly I’ll be doing once the job I’ve been waiting for comes along. Will I still be in my hometown? Will I find something a little further away? A lot further away? Will it be part time, full time? Will I go back to school to further my career options? Will that be in a few months, a year, a few years?
I don’t have the answers to those questions yet. But it’s OK. There are plenty of things I can’t answer. For the first time in my life, I’m fine with that. I’m fine without having a detailed plan. That doesn’t disqualify me from serving God. I can do that HERE. Now.