Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Live First, Write Later

In case you hadn't noticed, I periodically like to change the name and heading of my blog. It sets the mood and tone, which does change from time to time, depending on what's being written.

I chose this current heading because it indicates that life, my story, isn't written here in a futuristic sense. I'm not writing what I want to happen, or coming up with my own story line. What is written here is being written after being lived, after it has already happened. After it has been written by Someone else.

I think at some point, we all get this idea in our minds that we can "write" our life. That if we live here, go to school there, do this and become that, eventually, the story we want will unfold. If we envision it, and complete the necessary steps, what we want for our lives will happen.

I started learning from a very early age that this is not the case; but I didn't really learn it until after college.

My efforts at trying to write life, to make it the way I wanted, started when I was probably two or three years old. The one thing I wanted more than anything was a younger sibling, and the sooner the better. After praying for nine or 10 years and not getting one, I had pretty much given up. That's when God gave us Michael, a reminder to me that prayers are answered, but not in our timing.

Around that same time, I was still trying to write life, just another chapter. This time, it was everything that I wanted to unfold through middle school and high school. It included friendships, basketball, relationships, and my living location. Of course, the fact that my family might move across the country never entered the equation. When it happened, though, it threw a kink in all my planning.

Toward the end of high school, I started trying to write life again. I had found out that I was accepted to the only college I had applied to. I, of course, immediately started envisioning how I wanted everything to be, how I thought things would unfold. I can honestly say, none of it happened.

After college, I got a little better about trying to take control, mostly because the past four years had been something of a let-down. But I did make one final attempt when I decided to move to Denver, hoping that what I wanted would happen. It didn't, obviously, and truthfully, it went entirely opposite of anything I had thought of.

Through it all I've learned that what we want really doesn't matter that much. It may sound harsh, but I can say it because over 20-some years, I've learned that firsthand. It's not about me, or you, or how we think life should go. Our wants and plans are usually selfish, and rarely are they the best thing for us, or anyone else.

Sure, I thought that my version of life was pretty near perfect, but I didn't take into account that there are billions of other people with stories too. I didn't take into account that my story would intersect with someone else's story, and that their needs were just as--if not more--important than mine. And I didn't take into account that God's plan was bigger, and far more important than any plan I could conjure up.

So life now, isn't being written by me. Or at least, I'm working very hard at not attempting to write life. I'm working more on being available for the needs of others. I'm working on learning what I need to learn to become the person God wants me to me. I'm working on being willing to participate in God's plan, however that might be.

In losing my job, I've been given the opportunity to completely let go and wait for God to put me where he wants. Already there have been some huge changes, but they have been so good and have brought such peace. I can't wait to see where else God will move, and how the story will be written.

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