Monday, June 17, 2013

"Go Play!!"

Last week's post seemed to generate a surge of excitement, introspective, and lots of interesting discussions with others.  At least for me, my honest post encouraged me to seek out conversation with friends my same age.  Much to my egotistical surprise, I opened my eyes and realized there is a large handful of us who are all in the same boat.  Wow, Satan is sneaky!  He makes us think we are constantly alone in our struggles, when in fact we are always in good company.  Anyhow, since I have seen such a reach for twenty-somethings who are "Happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time," (as T-Swizzle puts it), I have decided to write a few more posts on the subject...if for nothing more than to satisfy my hungry mind.

"The safety of the fence or the danger of the ride,
I'll always be unsatisfied.."
--Miranda Lambert, Airstream

This week is a very similar post, and hopefully just as relatable.  I always say I think too much, and when I have freetime I really get to thinking too much.  The other day I was pondering all the exciting and uncertain possibilities for my future (before and after college graduation.)  Very quickly I was overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all.  I mean really, you think about it and after you have that diploma, the world is yours.  You are free to do absolutely anything.  Or in many of my friends' cases, I have noticed that taking a break from school is very helpful, that too opens up the possibility of doing and achieving absolutely anything!

As I sat and pondered and quizzed and hummed, I finally reached an emotional hot spot and broke down in tears.  (Yes, I am a girl.)  As I lay there crying for about 2 minutes, I finally asked myself why I was so frustrated.  My brain responded with this scenario...

Being at this stage in life is like being 8 years old all over again.  I remember as a kid, wanting to spend summer days inside watching TV while my mother would stand close by in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning and what not.  It was easy, safe, and natural; yet instead of letting me do this, my mother wanted me to "Go Play!"

"Zap!" The TV is turned off and the remotes are gone...all in about 30 seconds.  Defiant faces and angry hearts from my brother and I are aimed towards Mom as we compete against her in a stare-down.  (She always won, of course, but we would always try.)  "Go play.  Get outside...now!" she would command us.  

After losing a losing battle, brother and I would reluctantly obey her.  We'd take the first step outside and then awkwardly stand there complaining that we were bored and had absolutely nothing to do outside.  Besides, it's 101 degrees and there is no one to play with.


The truth is however, you are not bored, you are only scared.  As an 8 year-old you are experiencing the fear of the unknown.  Although on a small scale, you are still experiencing the fear of leaving your comfort zone and conquering the world on your own.

My brother and I would try complaining to Mom, but she would always shoot back with the "You're only bored if you choose to be bored" speech and repeats her "Go play" command.  Frustrated, a little scared, and unwilling to try something new, we would then make our way across the yard to our neighbors house.  "Can Austin come out and play?"  Of course, Austin was always up for an adventure.  Next we would go get Jacob, Jonathon, and whoever else happened to be in the neighborhood.

What happens next?  

Well pretty soon we are all so caught up in who's going to find your new hiding spot in Hide-and-Go-Seek, or the barrel role game, or how far you can jump on your bike, that you have absolutely no concept of reality.  You are a child completely and utterly consumed with the present.  No worries, no concerns, just laughter, fun and adventure.  This is the way we were meant to live.  Right in the middle of your heavenly bliss, where everything is perfect, and the step outside the door was way worth it.  You are laughing and playing and living and loving and then...you are called to dinner.

Ugh.  Frustration and anger again.

...Poor mom, she must have only seen the angry sides of us.  Bless her soul..

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens"
Ecclesiastes 3:1

The terms "Mom" and "Google" are interchangeable.

"Leap and the net will appear."

I don't know, but do you ever feel like that?  I've noticed the fear and excitement that comes when students approach graduation (more-so college than high school, but the feeling is still similar.)  You want to be good, successful, and exciting, but at the same time you are so careful about not messing up and taking the wrong path that you completely miss out on the fun adventurous part.  Sometimes risk is right.  (Risk is Right is a book by John Piper that I have not read, but my brother claims is wonderful.)  

I've seen a few classmates do great in college.  They excel straight through just like they did in high school, graduate with honors, and then what...well they go right back to school again.  Personally I think "Wow, how could you possibly go to more school?"  But a friend of mine pointed out the other day that well...you're 22 years old, you just graduated college and well, for the past 16 or so years of your life you have been in school.  It's safe.  It's comfortable.  It's what you know.  So of course, if the possibility exists, why not go back?  Just like the 8 year-old's comfort is sitting on the couch till noon watching cartoons under mommy's close supervision.

I'm not at all saying that going back to school after graduation is wrong.  I am challenging you though, if that is you.  Is that really what you want to do?  Is that going to be an adventure worth telling your grandkids?  Perhaps, instead you should do what your heart tells you to do.  Move to Venice and be the missionary God has called you to be.  Join Journey-men and live fully for the hope of the Lord.  Or maybe its' jumping out and starting your own business.  Whatever it is, don't be afraid to jump off that ledge.  Peter would still be in the boat if he would have listened to fear.  Yes, failure will probably happen, but that's where you learn, where you grow.  Failure is a beautiful thing not to be avoided at all costs.

Hmm..  for me it is leaving this part of the state, let alone this state.  I want to stay here, I want to move back to my hometown and live a quiet life.  But really?  At 22 don't you think I should go do something??  We have more energy and vigor than any other age group right now, so why not use it for some learning, growing, and helping.  Staring my fear right in the eye, is the desire to go travel..everywhere.  I need to learn and experience different cultures, true art, and meet people.  That's what I want...at least for now.  But hey, don't sweat it.  Let God be your guide.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord..."
Jeremiah 29:11