I never want to be a twenty-something again.
Work hard and prove yourself. Network and get to know as many people as possible. Keep in touch with old friends, engage with new ones. Travel, try every internship and juggle hobbies and fitness on top of it. Maybe do more school. Have multiple jobs at once, attend weddings, attend bridal showers, attend weddings, attend bridal showers (not a typo), group dinner, drinks, cabin, and drive…everywhere. Have coffee, have another coffee, meet for the third coffee of the day, and then happy hour. So many happy hours. Save up, pin the thing. Host the thing, design the thing, order the thing, buy the gift, and celebrate.
All good things. But I’m tired just typing them. Emerging into the real world after whatever school you’ve concluded with is exhausting. It’s like a decade long interview of trying to look your best, work harder than the next guy and appeal to people, potential spouses, clients and bosses all-around. I didn’t even include dating, planning your own wedding or God in the mix. It’s no wonder He gets placed in the compartmentalized box of one hour on Sunday mornings.
When I was a kid, God was just head knowledge and memorized prayers…the things I learned in Sunday School at a maximum. Bible camp and mission trips offered brief experiences with God, which dropped off a few weeks after returning home. I had my first encounter that “stuck” when I was 17. My friend and I attended a concert where we made new friends and most definitely experienced the holy spirit at work in our hearts for the first time in our lives.
The concert night was enough of a jolt to alter the path I was on. I switched colleges, broke up with my boyfriend, and lost all interest in partying with peers. God was now much more personal to me than just head knowledge. He was most important, and He had an influence on my decisions. He probably would have had an even bigger role in my life back then, but I was just…too….busy.
Time went on. I aged a little and got married. This led to more right decisions than wrong, and adding one heck of a moral compass (my husband) into my life. I managed to stay just as busy as before, but now doing so alongside a partner. God was still there, on the sidelines of our calendar. I knew He was important, but I wasn’t sure of how to implement Him into more of my life.
I’m not sure when it happened, but it struck me the other day that God has become the entrée of my life table. I’m a foodie so of course I’m going to make this about dinner. Take going out with friends, for example. This would have been the bread that I’d nibble on for the week.
I would look forward to the places we’d go and the people we’d see, what I would wear, the wine we’d consume. The pictures taken and the laughter had. Again, all good things. I think the enemy of this world doesn’t win through suffering and despair. He wins when we have the good life. With just enough good to keep us luke warm, satisfied and with no deprivation requiring dependence on God.
For most of my life thus far, God has been my dessert. Don’t get me wrong because I do LOVE everything about dessert. He was a wonderful, satisfying, superb piece of cake, but was consumed only after everything else was done. There wasn’t always room for Him and sometimes I had to force it.
The other day, we went out with friends. I greatly looked forward to it, and immensely enjoyed myself. We had choice wine, good food and great conversation. We dressed up and took pictures. But something was different on the ride home. Rather than scrolling through social media or planning the next outing, I thought to myself, “I enjoyed being in the presence of God tonight. And our friends were awesome too.” This life and world have officially become my dessert. And good dessert they are –I get teary-eyed even thinking about the blessings and good people God has placed in my life. But God is the entrée. Life with Him is full of the nutrients my soul needs in order to thrive. He is the most satisfying, most fulfilling delicacy I’ve ever tasted. He fills me up so that I can be poured right back out to others. I savor Him, and everything else is a just a darn good cherry on top.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. -Revelations 3:20