Today I've been contemplating timelines, checklists...probably partially because my best friend turned twenty-five and mentioned to me that she's halfway through her twenties...a place I will follow her to early next year. We both laughed and lightheartedly proclaimed ourselves as "old."
I've also recently begun Marian Jordan's The List, a potent little book about the list we make for ourselves. You know the list she means. It's that list you make when you're a kid around lunch tables or at slumber parties - the checklist of life. That list that states unabashedly what you proclaim you'll have done by the time you're twenty, or twenty-five, or thirty. I thankfully have no written evidence of my own list, but I remember countless conversations with my young friends dreaming about our perfect lives that would follow a strict schedule and in which all our deepest desires were met by the time we were...gasp...twenty-five.
So here I am on the brink of that magical age when everything is supposed to snap neatly into place, and my list is not exactly checking itself off. I'm not where I thought I'd be by now. Haven't done half the things I thought I would. Could it be that I have the wrong things on my list?
Or maybe it's that I'm too focused on the list itself instead of on the One who created the desires I so long for. Jordan's book pointed me to Psalm 33 and a few other psalms and reminded me that if God created my heart and my desires, of course He knows exactly how to best fulfill them in my life. The timing's not important...it's the trusting that's important. The journey. To quote Miley Cyrus (probably the only time I will ever do so)..."It's the climb." It's that step-by-step lifelong relationship of trust that really matters...not the temporary (albeit beautiful and wonderful) things our human hearts long for, the things we want so desperately to check off, the husband, the 2.5 kids, the dog, and the Colonial. Those things are indeed blessings from our Father because all good things do indeed come from above, but they will never, never, never compare to the greatness and beauty that is the Father himself.
This all clicked together for me when I stumbled across this video (entitled "By Now I Thought") for a new Bible study I've just started. I hope as you watch it that you too are encouraged as I was to stop falling victim to the trap of The List and of the demon of "by now I thought..." The song in the background sings "Jesus, save me," and will He ever. He'll save you and me from our dreams that seem out of reach, our futures that seem dim, and our whispers of "by now I thought..." I leave you to ponder this and thank God for His immense, unfailing, unmatched love and the hope we have in Him:
"Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you."
---Psalm 33:20-22 (emphasis mine)
"Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!"