11 April 2012

What No One Prepared Me For

Remember the game Life? You had your car that you filled with yourself and then your spouse and then your children. You moved forward, passing through various milestones.

Well, I've kind of completed all the milestones I can. Left home? Check. Study abroad? Check. Mission? Check. Undergraduate degree? Check. Full-time employment? Check. I obviously won't be adding more players to my car at the moment. But I feel like my car has broken down and I've been pulled over to the side of the Life road.

Now I love my metaphorical car. It's been good to me. I've had a good run to this point. But I'm exhausted of feeling like I'm stalled on the side of the road and that no effort on my part is getting me back on the road of life. But perhaps it's my perspective. My whole life I've had a plan, a next step. When you're a kid, you have the next grade and the prospect of summer break. As you get older, you look forward to going to college. In college you look forward to the next semester, or that study abroad, or a mission, or graduation, or marriage. There was always a next step.

I know I have a million next steps in front of me. I just don't know how to take them. I have every opportunity in front of me and it's paralyzing. I've been trying move forward with my life (whatever that actually means) for months and every plan I've made has blown up in my face. When I was growing up, I was prepared to go to school, serve a mission, get a job, get married, have kids, etc. But now there is no mechanism for helping move forward. I have to figure it out on my own. And I have to figure out what "moving forward" actually is.

I guess what I'm realizing is that we're all moving forward blindly. I feel like I understand Paul's words to the Corinthians: "For now we see through a glass, darkly" (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV). I feel like that is exactly what I'm doing. I'm looking through a dark glass, trying to figure out what my next move is (no pun actually intended, though it works).

The thing is that no one can actually prepare you for growing up. It just happens gradually. And it's painful. It's how we become who God intended for us to be. And it's hard.

There's just no way to plan to not have a plan. So maybe my car isn't broken down on the side of the road. But I'm just landing on one every time I spin the wheel, making indiscernible progress toward my next milestone. But who knows, maybe my next turn I'll land on ten (or eight or seven...I'd even go for a three) and it will take me to where I need to be. But in the meantime, I'll wait until it's my turn to spin and then I'll try to be content with landing on one again if that's what it turns out to be. It may take me longer to get there, but I'll get there eventually.