If you ever hear me talk about someone I absolutely adore, whether he or she is an actual person or a fictional character, you’ll hear me gush and ramble.
I won’t disclose a full list, but I will name a few. Earlier this week, I finished rereading my favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird, and if you were to come up to me in the next week or so and start discussing Atticus Finch, my heart would be so overwhelmed with happiness and affection that either my face would light up like a sunbeam or I would start crying.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is happier to hear a One Direction song and more at the ready to defend them when someone starts speaking badly of them. Those five guys make my heart smile so much, it’s ridiculous.
One of my favorite professors in college was Dr. Beth Huber. She is a phenomenal professor, a hippie and an activist, an expert on the Beats, and her favorite band is Green Day. She’s weird, and I love it. I saw her the semester after I had her class, and she told me to send her a friend request on Facebook, and the only thing I could think was, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you actually want to be my friend.”
Another person I just love is Lisa Harper. If you read the blog I ran during my internship with New Spring Church, you may recall the series I did on her book Untamed.
Through reading Untamed twice, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about Harper other than the fact that she’s a writer. To begin with, she’s a good writer, a distinction that’s necessary to point out. She’s extremely intelligent, funny, and honest. She’s forgiving and has a heart so teeming with love and joy that she and God must be best friends. But it’s clear that Harper’s life isn’t perfect, and I love it when a human isn’t afraid to show that they’re human.
When Alan asked Sunday if we ever wished that we were as successful as anyone else, my thoughts were along the lines of, “You have no idea.”
There are so many writers that I look up to and enjoy reading, including Harper. Some of them are as great of people as they are authors. I would love to be able to write like them and be as successful as they are. And there are people who have skills and qualities that I don’t have at all that I would also like to have. I’d love to be more like all of my favorite people and heroes.
But I don’t actually want to be any of them. More like them, yes, but not them. They all have qualities and successes I would like to have, but believe it or not, there are actually some perks to being me. Among those perks are my unique relationship with God and my own mountains to climb and descend.
It’s impossible to be a greater version of myself if I’m being someone else.
It’s easy to get in ruts or down to low points and think, “Well, this is as good as it gets, and it’s not that great.”
And I hope we’ve all had moments when we just pause and think, “Man, it just doesn’t get better than this.”
Fortunately, that’s not true. No matter how your life is now – whether it is outstandingly terrible or outstandingly fantastic – God has better things in store for you.
For example, my life was going well enough before I found out that All Time Low (a band I’m a fan of) is coming to North Carolina in April. My life then got even better when I was able to get a ticket to go see them (and a fast lane pass so I won’t have to stand in line as long).
I know what you’re thinking. “Carrie, that’s awesome! How could it get any better?”
I’m not saying that the following will happen, but all things are possible with God, so I’m saying that it has the potential to happen: During the band’s performance, the guitarist sees me in the audience and sort of falls in love with me then and there. See? A great life made even greater.
On a more serious note (although I do seriously have a crush on Jack Barakat, the previously mentioned guitarist, and consider this my written request to God to please let that scenario happen), God only wants to make our lives greater.
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah finds his soon-to-be apprentice, Elisha, at work, plowing a field.
Not so great, right? Hats off to him for doing what he had to do, but he wasn’t exactly out living the dream. I imagine he often returned to his house sweaty, dirty, and tired. But while it might not have been an easy or glitzy life, it was a good one. As far as we know, Elisha and his family didn’t need or want anything. It might not be the career we would probably pursue, but Elisha was, at the very least, content with it.
Then Elijah arrives on the orders of God, puts his cloak around Elisha, and walks off expecting the guy to follow. Instead of questioning him or ignoring him, Elisha simply says, “Hold on. I need to tell my parents goodbye first.” Elijah tells him to go back and think on everything that’s happened.
Does Elisha decide not to go through with it, decide that he wouldn’t be able to do what was being asked of him now and what would be later, that he was fine where he was and didn’t want to risk it?
No, he doesn’t. The fear of change that so often stops us from moving forward or moving up didn’t seize Elisha. He slaughters the oxen that pulled his plow and burns the plow itself. He welcomes the bigger, better plans God has for him.
There’s something about change that makes a lot of us uneasy. I suppose there are many reasons for it, but the element of change that I dislike is how it takes away the comfort I feel in something.
One reason I was nervous about post-college life was I knew that every average day would basically be the same. (I know that probably sounds stupid, but hear me out.) I’d wake up, go to work, come home and do whatever I wanted for a few hours, and go to bed, only to do it all over again the next day. I’ve never been a stranger to a routine, but when you’re in school, you get breaks to spice up your routine or your semester ends and you get to create a different routine if you want. I liked the regularly scheduled changes, the timed ebb and flow. I was afraid of the change that meant there wouldn’t be any more change, but it’s been more exciting than I thought it’d be.
Even if change makes us uncomfortable, we should take comfort in knowing that any change God brings us to will make us and our lives greater. Jesus said that He came to give us life abundantly (John 10:10), not to lead us in a life of dullness. So why are we settling for just that? Because that’s exactly what we’re doing when we resist God’s desire and plan for us to be greater. Don’t miss out because you don’t like change. Don’t be afraid of new things because they might end up being your favorite things. Don’t be afraid of a new life because if God has a hand in it, it will definitely be a better one.
By Carrie Prevette