I think it’s fair to say that most of us are never satisfied with ourselves. Sure, most of the time I am very happy and feel accomplished, yet I know that I am not where I want to be. That’s the beauty of growing! We are never “done.”
However, sometimes it’s easy to let the expectations of tomorrow hold us back from experiencing today’s joy. This was me a few days ago. As a college student, I have a lot of things ahead of me. I also have a lot of important decisions to make. Sometimes I feel a little lost, or maybe I second guess myself. Occasionally, in a grande total of thirty seconds, my thought pattern will go something like this:
“Am I choosing the right degree path? Is my GPA high enough? How can I make myself better? I like marketing, but I also like politics! Maybe I should be studying politics! Aw, look…a picture of a baby. Oh my gosh, maybe I’m supposed to be a midwife. Quick! Someone help those people who just crashed! Oh man, I’m supposed to be an ER doc. Don’t argue with me! Of course I’m right! …HOW DID I NOT KNOW THAT I’M DESTINED TO BE A LAWYER?! Ugh, I need to go for a run. That’s it! I’ll just get really fast a be a professional runner! No, I don’t want to work that hard. Back to marketing it is.”
Yes, sad but true. And no, I don’t have ADD, I just drink a lot of coffee. These thought processes usually come when I’m supposed to be working on, say, a paper that’s due within the next hour. That happened to be the exact circumstance that I was in the other day. So back to the paper I went, when shortly after I came across a bit of information that I needed and knew my mother-in-law was the person to ask. I gave her a call, we discussed, and then began to chat (clearly I was procrastinating). She asked what else was knew and I replied with the ever so common, sarcastic answer of “oh, just trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life.”
And she snapped me out of it.
“Stop thinking like that right NOW,” she said. I was caught off guard.
“You are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be! You are here, today. You are writing a really cool paper on an important issue in our society. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing. That’s what you need to think about. What you’re doing right now. So cut it out.”
Wow, she’s right. As much fun as it is to Google the salary of a successful ER doc and think about how that might be me one day, doing so isn’t going to change my life within the next five minutes. Then and there, my job was writing that paper. She’s a wise lady. We are here, today. This is where we are, this is what we’re doing. Dreaming of the future is beautiful; it’s fun, it’s encouraging, but sometimes the future can really wig you out. Sometimes we just need to focus on today.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” Colossians 3:23