We woke to white flakes on kelly green grass, and the kids squealed like they’d never seen snow. I sat for a while and watched it flutter down like a gentle foreshadowing of what’s to come. Like most things, the novelty won’t last.
The changing seasons are an ongoing reminder to assess my life, balance my priorities, and try to make certain that my walk with God and my walk with the people I love are where they ought to be. But that’s just the question: How do you really go about assessing the subjective parts of your life?
I used to think a time would come when I’d sense that I’d arrived to some sort of long-awaited destination in my relationship with God. There have been noteworthy moments – moments that impacted eternity – but for the most part, I find myself considering that I’m not yet where I want to be.
My late teens and early twenties were mostly just a scramble to keep myself afloat. My mid to late-twenties were sparked with radical enthusiasm and devotion. And my thirties find me settling into a pace that mostly looks like faithfully fulfilling whatever is set before me, a scarcity of spiritual mountaintop moments, and long stretches of spiritual steadiness.
Watching the first snow of the season, I decide to extend grace to myself. I decide that it’s ok that I’m not yet where I want to be, and I remind myself that none of us will “arrive” until we stand before the throne of God at the end of our earthly lives. I consider the reality that there’s not really room to judge anyone else’s journey, and this means I don’t need to judge my own journey either.
My journey has been imperfect, and my life remains imperfect. I blow it almost as often as I get it right. I miss opportunities to extend kindness to others. I search for patience, and it’s nowhere to be found. I question whether or not I’m making the impact I hoped to make when I set out on the journey. I forget to pray. I complain about things. I do the exact things I don’t want to do.
In light of all these things, it’s ok that I’m not where I want to be, and here’s why:
The One Who Made Me Will Bring Me to Completion
I can trust that the Maker who knit me together in my mother’s womb won’t quit on me. He’ll finish what he started. He’ll bring the work of my life to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Grace and Knowledge Don’t Just Show up – They Grow
2 Peter 3:18 reads, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord . . .” Every person is somewhere on a journey that leads either toward God or away from him. Until we see him face to face, none of us have arrived to a perfected state or a perfected relationship with him. What’s most important is that we’re continuing to grow closer and not inching ever so slowly away from him.
Endurance Leads to Maturity
According to James, trials lead to endurance, and endurance leads to a kind of maturity that leaves a person complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4). For this reason, we keep pressing through our imperfect lives and our imperfect relationships, and we trust that all of our trials will lead us to greater maturity.
God Loves Me As I Am
God’s love for imperfect people was proven once and for all at the cross (Romans 5:8). He loves me right now, at this step of my journey, just as much as he loved me in my wayward early twenties and just as much as he’ll love me on the day I enter my eightieth faithful year of walking with him.
He loves each of us where we’re at, and he’s bringing us to completion. We’re simply called to keep pressing toward him.
We run through the morning snowfall together, and the kids catch flakes on their tongues and spread their arms wide in a display of awe-struck freedom. They’re wild with life and joy, and I suppose I could learn a few things from their childlike enthusiasm.