I remember the bliss…of spinning in my dad’s arms as we danced in the living room to blaring Jimmy Buffet music. I would get so excited when he’d dip me down- that was my favorite part. And I remember the dreams…the dreams I had as a five-year old, ready to take on the world. Nothing was too big to accomplish, and no task so small that it didn’t seem significant in my eyes. I remember the play…the 24/7 all out fun and games (even at school, I considered each task a joy). I also remember the friends…my “cool girls club” (yep- that was the name) that I played with during recess. And I remember Mac n’ Cheese with Lil’ Smokies, my favorite dinner entrée cooked by the one and only gourmet chef I’d ever known, who was pretty as a jewel and knew the answer for every question that popped in my head. And at that time, in those moments, I didn’t realize that those would be the memories I would cherish forever. Those were the days- the days I longed to “grow up” and pursue my dreams- to move on to bigger and better things. It was “fun” being a little kid, but I wanted to be a big girl in high school. Then I became that girl in high school who also made great friends and memories, but my mind was focused on heading off to college. And now, here I am, longing for something else. You see? Each time, I want…I want exactly what I don’t have at the moment. And each time I get whatever it is I wanted, I want something more or something different.
Do you ever look back and wish you could somehow be whisked away in a time machine? I know I do, and today is one of those days. School has been so hectic and stressful lately, and too many things are starting to get to me. It seems like with each task I complete, 15 more are added to it. And while I’m here trying to sort everything out and get my mind refocused, I am still longing for those summer days of first grade where the biggest concern was what flavor popsicle I would get after a leisurely splash in the lake or a run through the sprinklers. Yes, those were the days. I can’t help but wonder if later on, say ten years from now, I will want to be transported back to this season in my life, a season focused on finishing college and pursuing the career I’ve been working towards. That is the whole point, right? As I reflect on the past, I realize that I am never satisfied, and that with each accomplishment, I am only pushing on towards another goal. While I believe it’s important to set goals and work towards them, I also believe that I often get too caught up in it all. Sometimes we all just need to take a big, deep breath and enjoy the moment- the here and now. If we keep looking at the grass that’s greener on the other side, we’ll miss the beauty of the nature around us. It’s so easy to say, but so much harder to do.
Lately, I’ve really been questioning what God’s purpose is for me here on earth. I know that I am supposed to enjoy Him and glorify Him forever, but what is my specific purpose? What does He want me to do? Because if all these dreams I’m chasing are dreams of my own, they will never satisfy- they will never be enough. But, if I am living in the perfect will of my Father, I will be whole and complete- and my soul will find rest. And, as I close this out, I have to bring it back to being a kid. Why was I so happy? Why was it so easy to not care what others thought? Some might say it’s because of the lack of responsibility, others might say it’s due to the lack of worldly awareness of what’s going on. And while I agree with those in part, I can’t help but wonder if it’s because we were doing exactly what God created us to do. We weren’t caring about the specific details of the future, about our status, about our body image, about our job, or our schooling. We were just being ourselves- God’s little creations filled with joy and wonder at the amazement of life and His creation around us. Maybe we can be transported back to those times. Maybe those were the days that were supposed to set a pattern for the rest of our lives, where each morning was a new opportunity to discover and relish in astonishment, and where the cares of the world didn’t affect us because we knew they were in someone else’s hands, someone else we trusted very much. I may not be five years old anymore, with a popsicle smile and baby fat protruding out of my swimsuit, but I am still a kid. I’m a daughter of God, who shouldn’t have to worry about the present or the future, because it’s all in His hands…which is why I am planning a beach trip tomorrow- me, God, and the great, vast ocean. I’m just gonna breathe and remember that He’s got everything under control. I won’t be longing for the good ol’ days, but living in the beautiful reality of the present.