“I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.”
-Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Story. Life isn’t just something that happened. God created life. And the Bible doesn’t talk about sitting on the couch and watching Netflix as a good way to live life, yet that’s what I find myself doing most days! Why am I so easily sucked into that TV, the “one-eyed babysitter”? (Did anyone else have grandparents that called it that? haha)
I get sucked in because it’s easy. It’s easier to plop down, turn off my brain, and allow myself to be entertained. But I’ve noticed, on my days off from work, when I sit at home watching Netflix all day, my husband comes home and tries to be so sweet and ask me about my day. This is embarrassing for two reasons: 1) because I haven’t done anything all day, and 2) because I haven’t done anything all day, or interacted with people, I am crabby! I get WEIRD and socially inept when I’m not around or don’t talk to people in a day.
I guess I am just trying to recalculate life. I don’t want to be lazy. I don’t want to take my frustrations out on my husband when he hasn’t done anything wrong. I want to be the best version of myself that God has intended me! I keep coming back to the word “intentional.” Am I being intentional with my life?
Don Miller is my favorite author. He writes as if he’s in a conversation with the reader, telling his own story, making fun of himself, but also sharing how he has grown. I highly suggest reading the book above! He’s unconventional, but he’s real. And I think that’s what Jesus wants from us. He doesn’t care if we follow all of our church rules. He doesn’t care if we accidentally forget to pray before we eat. Jesus wants us to be like Him!
I’ve grown up in a small, conservative community where everyone knows everyone. And I definitely love it! I feel safe walking outside in the dark by myself. I can walk down the street to the little consignment store and have a 20-minute conversation with the owners or ride my bike to my parents’ house. But again, I’m sucked in. I find myself analyzing situations based on what makes me comfortable. I like to live within my comfort zone. Now, don’t tell me I’m the only one. But show me where in the Bible it says, “And Jesus told them to go out and live a comfortable life, watching Netflix all your live-long days.”
Right! That’s ridiculous! Matthew 28:19, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
He tells us to go out! Go out. Get out of your comfort zone, get out of your house, reach beyond your 6 friends that make you feel safe, and tell people about Jesus!
In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus gives us two other commands. He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Now, we each have different callings, and I certainly want to be a stay-at-home mom someday! I LOVED that my mom did that with us growing up, and I want to do that with my kids, too. So, I think it’s important to identify what will help us, individually, live better lives.
For me, I’ve found that I need to be intentional with my eating habits; I need to work out; I need to schedule intentional time with people, either one-on-one mentoring with high school students for my job or in groups of friends after work. I need to invest in my relationship with my mom, dad, and brothers; I need to intentionally invest in my relationship with my husband. And most importantly, I need to invest in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
Think about your life. What kind of story are you living? And read Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.