One of my best friends--of all time--is getting married... tomorrow! Stacy and Alex are perfect for one another, and I am so blessed to be a part of their day. Not to mention, I am so, so, so excited for them to embark on their new adventure. God bless you two!
Many of you will be able to relate to my subject today. I find myself contemplating what I once flippantly referred to as my "happily ever after"--that life I assumed I would fall into so naturally after getting married. I know others who thought they would have that end-result feeling when they finished high school, got a job, finished college, got their masters... As a child and young woman, I never really planned far beyond the "I DO!" Marriage was the end-result, or so I thought.
If I've learned anything in the last four years, it's this: life doesn't end or begin at marriage or at any other life step. There is no end-point, no ultimate goal, no stopping point for the countless transitions we encounter. Last year, I had the honor of being part of a Solid Rock ladies Bible study in which I heard women of all ages, from all walks of life, talk about their frustration about the constant feeling of being "unsettled," or having the feeling of being in "transition." As a recent college grad, newly moved citizen of Portland, and a fairly novice wife, it's obvious that I would relate to their concerns. What I found interesting, however, was that each of these women were accomplished in their own rights: wives, mothers, noted professionals, church-members, retirees. Apparently my fervent hope for a settled feeling would not likely be found by reaching a certain level of adulthood, wifery, or professionalism.
So, that got me thinking. When are the times I do feel settled--at peace? My fleeting moments of peace are when I feel satisfied with where I am, content, and I'm so caught up in the moment that I can't take time to worry over, plan out, or run through the countless scenarios of how my next conversation, next day, or next adventure will turn out. Sad to say, those moments of contentment are few and far between. Why is that? Why do we focus so much on what's around the bend instead of what's right in front of us? I can't seem to stop the never-ending "what-if" machine that's always running in my head, fueling my worry, concern, and monopolizing my time.
I wish I had a definite fix for the problem. I believe life is short, so we shouldn't waste all our time thinking about the future--I don't want my life to pass me by while I'm busy planning and worrying. All I know to do is pray for the discipline to "stay in the moment." There are daily, minute-by-minute opportunities to make other peoples' lives better, to say something nice, to help someone out, to learn something new, but oftentimes I'm too busy planning or running to my next big thing that I miss the little chances that make life meaningful. But that's not who I want to be. I want to be the person who makes her "happily ever after" each second, who purposefully listens, takes action, and engages in life "right now." So, today--this minute--I choose to be that person. I refuse to plan what I will choose next.