It’s a strange temperature outside. It’s simultaneously cold and warm, as if the atmosphere can’t decide whether it wants to embrace the crisp autumn air or hold onto summer’s heat. The sun beats down, warming my skin. But the breeze tickles my face and sends shivers down my spine.
The weather is caught at a point between extremes, torn between what it is and what it could be.
Maybe I am no different than the weather.
I have a camera in my backpack and headphones in, listening to a playlist filled with autumnal acoustic songs. I sit in the middle of a field, awaiting the sunset. The sky is fading into beautiful blues and pinks and purples and oranges.
I close my eyes and whisper, “anywhere but here.”
My heart is ready for a change, ready for something different. I won’t say that I’m discontent. But I just long for what’s ahead.
The roads I’ve traveled feel well worn, the sights around me feel overseen, the life I’ve lived feels like an echo.
I lay on my back and stare up at the sky, wondering just when I’ll become what I hope to be. I think of the people I haven’t met yet, the places I haven’t seen. I wonder how much I’ll grow, how much my life will change.
I am not afraid.
What I am afraid of is never changing. I’m terrified of staying the same. I’m terrified of my life staying in the exact place it is.
When I look at the lives of those I graduated with, I see huge moments. Some are engaged, some are married, some are achieving incredible things, some are traveling across the world, and some are creating a new life for themselves. My life is dull in comparison.
Perhaps I am not unlike Augustus Waters from John Green’s infamous The Fault In Our Stars. Perhaps I too fear oblivion.
I fear oblivion. I fear it like the proverbial blind man fears the dark.
Augustus Waters fears living without making a mark on this world, without living a life that is insignificant. But realist Hazel Grace reminds him that oblivion is inevitable. For one day, everything will fade away and one day there won’t be anyone to remember anything. No matter what Augustus does. he will someday fade into oblivion.
I am afraid of the same thing. Though, perhaps not selfishly. I don’t long for fame or for worldly significance. I’m not afraid of living a life that people forget.
No, what I’m afraid of is living a life that doesn’t do anything significant. I’m afraid of leaving this world the same as it was when I entered it. I’m afraid that my life will not stir change in other’s lives. I’m afraid that I won’t do anything to better this world or to impact the people I come in contact with. I’m afraid of just simply living.
I want to live with purpose. I want to live fearlessly and passionately. I want to be so deeply in love with life and living. I do not just want to pass by, robotically doing everything that I am “supposed” to do, as the world tells me. I do not just want to graduate, get a job, have a family, and just get by.
I want to live.
The sun is over the horizon now and I am perplexed at how rapidly my surroundings change as the sun fades over the trees. I am almost frustrated with myself. Here I am, sitting and watching the sunset when there is so much to be done, so many things to see, so many people to meet. When I think of all the things I’ve yet to do, I get anxious. The fear of not making a big enough difference cripples me. It uproots my peace and drives me to discontentment. It tells me that I cannot enjoy this season I am in, I must keep changing and going.
The breeze rustles through the trees, almost to whisper, to me.
have patience. you’re not done growing.
God, I know I have a long ways to go. But it fears as though I’ll never get there. I feel stuck, I feel tied down in a place I don’t want to be.
I think of all the pain I’ve seen. I think of the people I want to gather in my arms and keep safe. I consider all of the tragedies that I so desperately wish I could mend. I think of all the broken hearted people that I want to love. I think of all those who are lost and wish that I could point them back home.
I feel caught in between, more like stuck in between. I know what I could be, but I’m not there yet. It’s just within reach.
It’s hard not to wish so desperately for the future, where I will be out of school and able to do what I love and have a life of significance. But it seems so far away.
But I hear a strong voice, steady and firm, but soft and loving. It’s the voice of my Father, the author of this story of mine, the One who is faithful and will not leave this life of mine undone.
My child. My plans for you are unimaginable. I have created a good work in you and I will be faithful to complete it. But I am not done with you yet. Your plans fade when compared to my plans for You. Take heart and have faith in Me. There is purpose and significance in the season I have placed you in. Don’t think for a moment that I cannot work in your life now. Do not think for a moment that I don’t have a reason for this.
The sun has almost disappeared below the trees and I have a renewed sense of purpose. I will learn to love the skies I am under, I will learn to embrace this season. Now that the sun has set, this sweater I’m wearing feels too thin for the chill of the dusk. The weather will change when its time come. It will change when it’s meant to.
And I will do the same. I will not rush, I will not long for the future so much that I forget the present. I will not hold onto what’s been. I will flourish right here, right now, right as I am.
Maybe I am not anything like Augustus at all. For I have peace in the promise that He has began a good work in me and will be faithful until completion. The world may fade and anything impact I’ve had on it and the people within it might slip into oblivion. I might not achieve all of the things I hope to. But it is not in vain. For I know that my God has a plan. It is not my plan, but His. I just get to be a part of it. And anything done for Christ is not done in vain. For I do not seek an earthly crown that will be lost when the world fades. No, I run for a heavenly crown. Just so one day, I can throw it at the feet of my God and my Savior.