Maybe because you are a young adult and a student in America, you are operating under some false assumptions. You assume that your life right now is supposed to be about you learning and you growing and you being poured into. You assume that the person you are today is inherently superior to the one you are in every way. You assume that the people around you are there for you, and that they will be around when you need them, and you assume it never considering that they are pretty busy with their own universes. You assume that the difference between you and the homeless man on the corner must have something to do with effort or skill or…something. You assume that making the decision that keeps you together, whole, happy…you assume that is the decision you are supposed to make. Bless your heart, you still think it’s going to be easy. (and by the way, keep a close eye on the thing that happens when you assume)
You think you understand God. You have gotten so used to the things you have figured out about your faith that you want to make everyone around you somehow fit into that box. You also, by the way, think that happiness is some kind of reward for obedience and you think that you deserve it. You think you can hold your faith in your hand and use it like a weapon. It was a shelter for you to take refuge, and you have somehow tried to lease it out and make a profit from it.
I understand. You’re in this phase of life that is all about you. You’re paying people to teach you and take care of you. Everyone keeps telling you to enjoy it, and this is the best time of your life, and don’t waste it. They are telling you to lay this foundation, to use your singleness to take care of yourself, and to take control of your life. You are so afraid that you will somehow miss out in the midst of the grabbing hands around you. You are afraid of coming out with nothing. (nothing, by the way, would be so much lighter than all this heavy junk you’re dragging around right now)
But you look nothing like Jesus. You used to say, and yes you were naïve and small, but you used to say that was all you wanted. I want for you to understand that right now you are not necessarily supposed to be happy, and that you are definitely not supposed to be spending all your time learning and grasping and staring at your own face in the mirror.
I see you, sitting on the couch in the dark trying to find acceptance from people who walk and talk and think the same way you do, and I want to grab you by the wrist and drag you out of there. I want to show you all the people you are neglecting and ignoring and not even seeing. If you want to learn, I wish you would look outside this circle of comfort and convenience. I wish you would wake up.
Because you like to say, with your voice a little proud, that the way to check yourself is to see if you look more like the people Jesus loved or the ones He rebuked. I’m laughing at you, because don’t you know what you look like? You look like a Pharisee. And you can sing these songs and chase these feelings in this warm room, but outside it is cold and you need to understand that not everyone has a reason to sing .
Maybe I just want you to see it. Or maybe I want you to just stop it already. To try, even just a little bit, to see things from a perspective that doesn’t have you at the top of the world. Maybe what I want the most is for you to quit feeling sorry for yourself.
Besides. It only makes you feel worse. Seriously.