Dear world, it’s 2018. I realize one of my biggest mistakes of my life is that I desire places that God doesn’t want me to go. I desire things that were never meant to be for me. I wanted to be at SLS ’18 in Chicago which is going on as I write, but here I am at home in Texas. I can’t go due to cost, logistics, etc. I wanted be to part of UT’s marching band, Longhorn Band this past August. I tried out, but I didn’t make it. I wanted to go a summer camp just to visit my friend who worked there. I joked around about it, but it never happened. I wanted to be an architect. I had to change my major when I didn’t have the skills to be what I wanted. These are not inheritably bad things I desire. I could learn a lot in these experiences that I desire. I could have opportunities to grow in faith through some of these experiences I desire. Lots of these things are didn’t happen for me. That makes me feel uneasy. Upset. Depressed. Left out. Why do I want to be where God has already decided that I should never be?
I give myself reasons why I feel this uneasiness. If I were to go where I wanted to be, I could gain a new experience. I can grow closer to God. If I do this, I will be taught how to pray better. I can be more devoted to Christ. I will know how to speak up for what I believe. Maybe I can learn something new. Maybe I can learn more about myself, and who God calls me to be. The maybes are endless. They don’t solve the problem. I can’t go there.
I fall into the trap of anxiety, jealousy, and envy. I compare myself to others. I want to be just like my friends, because I think that they live better lives. I see that we all have things in common. But there’s a few things that they do better than me. There’s a few places they get to go, while I stay at home. I fill out a checklist, and compare myself to them. It’s like FOMO, (Fear of missing out) but on a faith-level. That’s not faith. My belief is not just founded upon being like my friends but being like Jesus. If Jesus calls me to be who I am, then I will be that person. I will be Andrew Maynard.
All of these questions have me wondering why I didn’t do what I could have done. But the action is done, the battle is lost. Or is it?
I’m not at SLS 18, but I can learn from not being there that I don’t need to be where my friends are all the time. I can learn and build up my faith elsewhere, and that saying no is not inheritably bad. I have fun while I’m here, and choose to be present in the now where I am, not long to where I could be. I’m not in Longhorn Band, but I got into Pep Band, and I have found ways to develop my talent of playing clarinet. I find out that I really had an amazing summer living in Austin, and visiting Arkansas, without going to see my friend at camp. I am going to be a Civil Engineer, which uses my skills of math, science and innovation. It comes more naturally to me. I learned how to present ideas in new ways.
All of those doubts I have, all of the pitfalls I have shouldn’t stop me from learning. Jesus won the war over sin and death by dying on the cross. If I continue to let myself live with constant jealousy and envy, I live in sin. Those can be sins! Jesus died for me so that I don’t continue to live in the darkness of sin, but in the light of His love. That means I must follow his Will for me to continue living in that light. It’s not what I want, but what I need. God’s will is not a step-by-step plan on how my life should go. It’s not whenever or not certain events will happen. God’s will for me is to love. God’s will for me is let his light shine through me. This can happen through my experiences. I know that in saying all of this doesn’t change the effect of others’ experiences, because God can work through almost anything and anyone. All of the things I missed out aren’t invalided, but rather what has happened for me is valid because God is teaching me through these experiences. My desire is to do God’s will. If I live a life with love, then what I’m doing is right. I shall not want.
Living in the Light,
The Nerd of May