“Everyone reaches the future at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
– C.S. Lewis –
I have spent hours and hours, days, and weeks wishing that I could do everything I wanted in that very second. 2018, my friends, was what I would consider a year of wishful thinking, a year of what-ifs, and that is why it was so hard.
I’ve been thinking a lot about time recently because college will do that to you. It’s so easy to compare yourself to everyone else. Wondering why these people have this money or this person has those opportunities, and we get lost in all of the coveting instead of loving how God is moving in our lives, even if it’s not quite where we want to be.
I’ve spent my entire life trying to get to the next thing—and that doesn’t just change in half a second, because most things don’t, but there is no life in just constantly striving for the next thing; don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love dreaming and setting goals, but in regards to this, I think one of my favorite writer says it better than anyone—“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” (J.K. Rowling)
We have all been taught, convinced, and trained to believe that we have to get to it now—just before C.S. Lewis talks about minutes and hours, he addresses how many of us believe people of greater stature or who have more resources somehow have reached the future, where we all end up, at the same time, at the same rate, in the same regard. Everyone travels through life and time in an unchanging rhythm that is the exact same for all people everywhere.
But we get so caught up in the glamor of things that we see in other people’s lives, and I don’t mean to continue the broken record of saying social media makes this even worse, but it does. Because highlight reels do nothing to show the realities of the struggles everyone goes through at the same rate of sixty minutes an hour.
One of the most difficult things to do is to breathe and live. To live in the moment is the most wonderful gift we’ve been given, and yet it is the absolute hardest thing to achieve.
I’ve spent this year looking at influencers and travelers, wishing that I could live a life that looked like that (or wishing I could just look like that in general), but the last few days I’ve taken some time to reflect, and I came to this realization—the greatest priority in my life is travel, and it needs to not be. Now, there is nothing wrong with travel, and I was talking to the Lord about it. I figure priority number two isn’t too bad, but then I realized it shouldn’t be about any priorities at all—
There is one purpose: that the glory of God be on display through every aspect of my life.
And this caused me to reevaluate a lot.
Namely, the way in which I look at myself.
Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I looked at myself in the mirror. I saw stretch marks, cellulite, a tummy that I don’t love, and many of the other things a lot of women see on themselves. The song “Beautiful” by MercyMe was playing, and I started crying because even as I saw all the imperfections of my physical body, for the first time in my life, I thought, “Wow, I’m beautiful.”
And I pray that for each one of you, whether male or female, because recognizing your own beauty and value isn’t conceited, it is what God intended. “Fearfully and wonderfully made” isn’t a dreamy, lofty idea, it’s part of the bigger Upside-down Kingdom design. When your idea of how beautiful you are, how loved and valuable you are, is solid in your own mind, you will be so much more inclined to be able to live now. You won’t be chasing after value in places you were never meant to be identified and defined by because you will have a much more solid and lovely understanding about how you were designed to think about yourself.
So, this new year, sit in solid understanding of how loved you are. Look in the mirror, at all the imperfections, reflect on all the ways your heart is being healed and loved on, and let God work on all the comparison issues that are hold us all back from living our best NOW.
Know you are loved, valuable, deserve to dream and live well, and that you can, even in the midst of different seasons of life, live such a beautiful now.
Dream, but don’t forget to live.
Love well, my friends, and that includes yourself.