As I was reflecting on the multiple audibles that life has caused me to make, I found myself laughing at how easy it is for me to miss the awesome things that God has placed right in front of me. To paint a clearer picture for you, imagine going up for a game-winning jump shot in basketball and you sink it. However, you’re upset because in the midst of everyone celebrating the victory, you’re stuck in the mindset of the elsewhere. You’re wishing that your glamorized jumper wasn’t in the 3 on 3 pickup game that you’re currently balling out in. Rather, you wish it was in game 7 of the NBA finals—elsewhere than the now. Isn’t that a bit ridiculous? No doubt! As crazy as it may seem, this has been an easy trap for me to fall into as a freshman in college. With that, I’ve been reflecting on this reality and I’ve learned three sweet breakthroughs that I felt compelled to share with y’all. Hope it relates to your current situation and maybe even helps clear some things up!
1. See the Simple Things
Our culture naturally teaches us to want more. To be elsewhere. We live in a constantly-moving society that is focused on what’s next. To pull from Zygmunt Bauman’s Globalization: The Human Consequences, “wherever we happen to be at the moment, we cannot help knowing that we could be elsewhere, so there is less and less reason to stay anywhere in particular.” Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s good and extremely natural to have visions. It’s also an awesome form of obedience to Christ when we follow His call for us to “go”. But, what if that “go” actually means to be present? What if we flip our culture upside down and simply be in the here and now? It’s been my experience that when I let go of the “what if’s” and begin to focus on the “here nows”, I start to see the simple things. God begins to stir my heart for what stirs His—the now. I’m learning that the college life, even in its busyness, is made up of a lot of things simple. From pouring a good cup of coffee and studying with a good buddy to taking all of the furniture out of your RA’s room to simply hearing someone’s life story, it’s the little things that are what make the nows…well now.
2. Seek Wisdom
Yooo I get it! You’re in college and either 1) you’re too cool for advice or 2) you don’t have time for a pick-me-up. I’ve been there done that. Because of my blind desire to be elsewhere, I often think that I can get “there” based upon what I know about my life. As much as the truth that you know yourself better than anyone reigns true, so does the reality that there are potential mentors out there that know more about life than you. As it says in Job 12:12, “wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in the length of days.” This has been a game changing reminder for me. Just the other day I was getting tossed around by life’s undercuts, so after talking with the Lord, I reached out to an old youth leader of mine. He directed me to seek where Jesus has me now and to embrace the people, opportunities, and even hardships that are currently present today.
3. Surrender to His Truth
This might sound ridiculously churchy and borderline unhelpful but stick with me. As a rookie in this whole college game, I’ve quickly learned that it’s a blast. Few things compare to playing a pickup game with some buddies against your professors and then being in their class an hour later. On the flip side, it’s a rocky road trying to be a “transforming you” in college. You’re trying to adjust to new friends, different food from your Mama’s, and the man/woman of God that you’re becoming. It becomes a trend for you to desire to be someone/something so in turn you low key (had to) lose sight of who you truly are. Reflecting upon the idea of my constant desire to be elsewhere, I realized I need to get back to His Truth about me. It hit me that who I am in Christ is who I am today, not who I will be tomorrow. Coming back to the basics, Paul reminds you, the child of God, that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8). This a profoundly uplifting reality. By surrendering to the truth that Jesus has your back and freely extended you grace on the Cross, you’re encouraged to know that you don’t have to be focused on the elsewhere. Rather, you’re catapulted to simply be in what is the now because He knows what He’s doing and has you where you are for a reason.