I have come to realize that there is a pattern when it comes to the way Audrey Nix lives her life. When things are going great and life is peachy keen, she is exuberant. Flitting and floating around from thing to thing, almost like a steam-engine train powered by coal doused with Mountain Dew, Starbucks coffee, and kerosene. With me, Audrey, sitting on top with a bungee chord allowing me to stretch out along the chaotic course to pick up things as I go while trying to steer simultaneously. It’s fun for a little while, but eventually, there is a crashing point. I will have run out of steam, patience, energy, drive, and confidence. When that happens, I am either crankily stranded on the tracks or I get the heck out of dodge. Abandon ship. I disappear and drop off. You won’t see me for a while. I have retreated off to be on my own in my crumbled mess I created.
Til’ I find a new train. A new pair of tracks. Accumulate coal and start her up. Then, I will start puttering along until I find some pixie-dust-like enthusiasm to sprinkle on to get me going full speed once again.
Most of you who know me may have already known this, or I have been doing a good job at keeping you at arms’ length enough so you aren’t able to notice. But, I have come to the point that this pattern has become exhausting. It has become destructive. And it has become evident that change is necessary.
So all this to say, since around the beginning of August, there has been some major changes that have occurred in my life. All of them have been welcomed, but not all of them have been easy. I am back on my train that is secured on tracks and I am ready to chug along forward, but at a normal, healthy speed. I also have taken a different seat on my train, one that is comfortable and secured inside as I let someone with more loving, trusted, and holy hands drive. And I am fully confident that He will take me not where I want to go, but where He has called me. By His course I will travel and by His side I will rest.
Now I am a 20-something on her own. The world is at my fingertips. Anything can happen. That is the way most movies, novels, and Taylor Swift songs make you feel. I grew up thinking that my life could be defined, decoded, and directed by a romantic comedy, a book I felt I could relate to, or by the emotion that a song could make me feel. I think that society as a whole has trained us, or maybe just people like me, to think that we could do this. That we could use these things to shape and mold our thinking of the way way life could and should be as long as we act as a Hollywood starlet would in our own lives. Could. Should. And Would. But that is not reality.
Reality is not what we see on a picture on Instagram. It cannot be seen in a long, sappy Facebook post. Reality cannot be defined by a quote on Pinterest.
The grass is always greener where you water it.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
If you can dream it, you can do it.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible”.
Just keep swimming.
Life is not the destination, but the journey.
Words. Quotes. These statements shape our culture and more often that not, can become our mantras for our life. And if anything, makes our life seem more normal. Understandable. Defined within the status quo. We seek comfort in knowing that we belong in the margin that we deem the norm of life.
But, if the Lord has taught me anything these past few months, He has completely overthrown one simple statement for me. “Life is not the destination, but the journey.”He has shown me that life is in fact the destination. My life is the destination. And this destination changes my journey.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:1-4
In these verses, the apostle Paul is writing from prison to the people of the church in Colossae to try and fortify it against false teachers, teach of Christ’s reconciliation he accomplished by his blood, and ,in this particular passage, how those alive in Christ should be living set apart from the rest of the world. Our minds are not focused on the things of this world, but rather than fully focused upon the face of the Father. We are to live with the destination of Heaven directly before us, not as if it is something we have to journey to years and miles from the here and now.
Paul tells in in these verses, our earthly life, our earthly ‘journey’ has been put to death. It is no longer who we are. For we now are alive in Christ. Our destination is present and we are with him in glory. Glory. Now our lives are no longer just wandering and journeying across the earth to only make it to the final destination of death at the ripe old age of 80 something.
For I have Jesus with me now. He is daily walking beside me. So who am I to take my eyes away from him who loves me? Who am I to stress over whether or not I am going to check the boxes and reach the milestones of what culture deems necessary for a satisfying life? Who am I to take my mind and only think about the here and now?
Because I am a Christian, my life is no longer a cliché. My life cannot be described by a quote by Ghandi, Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, or Walt Disney. My life won’t mirror the next big romcom in theaters. My life won’t sound like the beautiful ballads of T.Swift. My life is defined by the word of God and His plan and purpose for me. My life is to mirror the teachings of Jesus. My life will sound like a sweet song of worship to the King of Heaven.
My life is not a journey, but it is the destination of journeying with Him day by day. Welcoming others to walk with me alongside Him and having the Father guide us, step by step, breath by breath.