A few weeks ago, I was plopped on the couch mid-afternoon. I had settled in to the usual position: sprawled out, head propped up by three to four pillows, right ankle splayed over the backrest of the couch, left hand gently gripping the TV remote as it dangled off the cushion’s edge. I’d spent another day unamused and unused, wasting time with another solo Netflix marathon. My mom arrived home from work or errands or working out or wherever she had been and asked how my day had been.
“My life has no purpose.”
It was melodramatic. I know.
Yet, despite my mom’s protests, I restated the phrase numerous times over the next couple of days. While mostly regurgitated in jest, I knew a part of me believed the sentiment to be true.
“My life has no purpose.”
Allowing such thoughts to brew in my mind was foolish. Such negativity dampened my mood while making me even more useless. The perception had imbedded in my mind.
The second half of my summer didn’t go as I had expected. A job hadn’t fallen into my lap. My fitness plan got pushed to the side. Personal projects were replaced with mindless activities. The adventures I had dreamed about for months became tricky to plan and forgotten.
I was angry, yet resigned to the fact that my summer wasn’t going as I had eagerly anticipated.I hadn’t seen my expectations being met, so I pulled back on actively chasing them.
Which was an undeniably dimwitted reaction.
In laziness, I denied God the power to bless me. In bitterness, I designated myself as worthless instead of Christ’s label of precious. I desired too many things in too little time and gave up when God wasn’t blessing me according to my carelessly conceived timetable.
Of course, God’s got it, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to use a miracle to make those ten extra pounds disappear while you push play on a ten season series. He’s not going to grant you success at work or in school when you don’t meet deadlines and do the bare minimum. He’s not going to bless you with precious memories if you never leave the house.
I was being naive. I was rejecting God’s timing and making my expectations even less achievable by being an inactive servant. I was allowing idleness to define me. Most tragically, I was denying the blessing that is my time on earth, the time which God has granted me so I can serve Him and fulfill His purposes.
I once wrote about being a workaholic, about scheduling every moment of my life to the very minute and cramming my days with so much activity that I could hardly rest. Now, I struggle with the opposite problem.
The grass is always greener…
You see, that’s Satan at work. That’s the devil finding the best ways to consume us and lead us away from our Lord. If it’s not A, it’s B, and by tomorrow it will most certainly be C through Z.
He’s never going to quit. He’s going to push and jab and scratch and pull until the punches become painless and the sting of fresh wounds becomes addictive. He’s going to start digging a rut until it becomes a hole we dare not attempt to climb out of so we settle in and call it home.
But, while I may have unrealistic expectations, the devil’s are so much more unreasonable.
Satan cannot win. He can fight without resting and cycle through destructive plan after plan, but he’s already lost. He can lead you and me to the pit and help us move in furniture there, but he cannot make us stay. He can trick us into being a guest, but he will never make us a resident.
Cause our home’s not in the darkness, but in the light.
So, maybe I’ll roll through these phases, these phases of overactivity and then lethargy. Maybe I’ll be unreasonable and angry. Maybe I’ll wish for work when God is saying “rest” and vice versa. Certainly, I will never overcome the human condition - sin.
But that’s why I have Christ. So that in these moments, I will stop dwelling in the devil’s abyss and settle in to the comfort of my Father’s outstretched arms.
Because the best expectation we can focus on is the day in which we will be united with our Savior.
And with that as our goal, everything else falls into place and the deadly pit is filled in with sand and sealed with cement.
Ever-faithful, God used my self-told lie for His purposes. He caused me to reflect on my self-belittlement, acknowledge my sinfulness, and turn to Him.
So now, I won’t utter the destructive, “My life has no purpose.”
Rather, I’ll rejoice in proclaiming, “My life is a purposeful life - a life dedicated to Christ!”
Let Your Crown Shine Today.