Being present where you are can be hard work.
We like to think we have it all figured out, that we know where we ought to go in life and how we’re going to get there. I think we all want a glamorous life if we can have it.
Each of us have a story in which God reveals His faithfulness. Every time I consider my own, I seem to learn new things about His goodness. Whether it’s a better understanding of my brokenness and just how much I need a Savior, or a more profound perspective of my experiences, what is always constant is a renewed understanding that the most powerful thing I possess is this: my own firsthand interaction with the piercing and active truth of the gospel.
We are children of God, bought at a great price and given what we could never earn or deserve. That is a high calling. And we are asked to live lives that are worthy of that calling. No matter how many times I have thought I could make my own plans for my life, the Lord has asked me to wait, to stop, to sit patiently in His presence and be willing to do what He asks. It is in these times that I learn to know God. It is these times that He captures my heart.
It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves, always looking for what comes next instead of investing in what is right before us. The Lord wants to use us, and we must understand that we have been placed where we are for such a time as this, just as God used Esther in the right time and place to saver her people.
Even so, we are to be filled with a holy discontent, not so much with where God has placed us but rather with the state of our hearts and the fact that His mission is not yet complete. The world is broken, and though God’s plan is to fully redeem and restore His creation, we are living in the midst of sin, sorrow, and suffering. Despite that, we have the opportunity to experience a great joy and peace because of who we are in Christ. We are invited to be a part of the world’s restoration.
John Piper says that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. And if the world is not yet fully reconciled to its Creator, to be satisfied with God means we ought to be unsatisfied with the world. We are to set our minds on things above, seeking the glory of God first and foremost, with all that we have and all that we are. If we are to restore God’s world, we must know Him.
Being present in the moment means not giving in to only longing for what’s ahead, but devoting yourself to the path that takes you there. It requires sacrifice, discipline, investment. It brings with it seasons of hardship, and also great joy. Being present means that at times you set aside your own goals for your future and instead think about what comes after this life. You think about eternity.
We all long for adventure. But is what we’re longing for just an escape from what’s before us?
Adventure isn’t getting in a car and driving across the country. It isn’t trying your hand at being a professional musician. It isn’t even releasing a record and thinking you have arrived.
It’s starting a church. It’s changing lives through obedience. It’s living a story worth telling. It’s being faithful in the small things and the big things. It’s diving headfirst into a life of surrender, of pursuit, of dying to ourselves as we live for Christ. It’s answering the call of the Lord, and by doing so it is experiencing a joy and a peace that is beyond understanding.