It’s that time of year again!
Most of us still have some connection to the back to school feeling whether that’s yourself going back, your kids, grand kids, whatever. We can all relate to that whirlwind feeling of starting a new school year. Maybe not everyone has positive feelings about going back to school. Maybe I’m weird because I’m going to be a teacher someday, and I think think that going back to school is just one of the best times of the year (besides Christmas, of course). Either way I think there is an anticipation of the new year.
However, for me at least, this feeling soon dwindles and eventually leaves me. Probably by the second week if I’m being honest. And then a routine is set. I’m going through everyday doing the same thing over and over again. I used to go to school, go to practice, do homework, watch TV, go to bed. The same thing. Every day.
Once this feeling sets in, life seems pretty bland again. It gets boring doing the same thing over and over again day after day, so I then shift my focus towards the weekend. I start wishing away the weekdays and anticipating the weekends or when the weekends don’t become long enough for me to rest, I start looking forward to the next break and the next break, then summer, and the cycle continues year after year.
In the past, I’ve been focused on the future and how the future will be different than my present circumstances. I try to convince myself that next school year will be better or the next one, because let’s face it, I won’t ever leave the school year mentality behind. But this has been so damaging to my everyday life.
When I begin to wish away everyday and treat it as a given not a gift, I begin to wish away my whole life. I don’t get the chance to live in my present experiences. I don’t get the chance to witness what God is doing right in front of me. I don’t get to see my relationships grow or the Lord work in my life. What I do get to see is that just another day passed, and I’m closer to the weekend.
Wishing away the present and living in a focus of the future is something the Lord has been convicting me about. I remember last fall I was talking to my friends saying how I wished I could be a part of something more than what I’m doing right now. I felt like a waste of space, and I thought that my purpose didn’t start until I landed my first teaching job. I thought for sure I couldn’t impact the world until I had a designated space to do so. But the truth is, I had it all wrong.
Maybe you too are starting a new school year and know the same thing will happen or has happened to you in the past. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we are worthless or unimportant until some big life event happens like graduating college, getting a real adult job, getting married, having kids, whatever it might be for you. If we don’t live life through the long ugly parts, we lose life itself.
It’s hard to break through this mindset, but it’s possible. Every single day has purpose to it, and if we are caught focusing on what’s ahead of us instead of what’s directly in front of us we’ll miss so much of the life God intended us to have.
I read a book this winter, and the author wrote these words, “just today with Him.” Ever since I read this, it has stuck. Sometimes more days than others. I find this little saying to be so comforting. We don’t need to focus on the future. When we go through everyday with the intention of spending it with God, life is better. We see little things we never saw before. We see God in ways we never thought were possible. All of a sudden we see His hand in everything we do. Those in between mundane tasks we do become so much greater and purposeful that we could ever imagine.
In high school, I wrote a paper for English class talking about finding my purpose. I said I had no idea what God wanted me to do. I felt lost and confused, caught in an in between stage of life, again. (It’s crazy how much life is lived these moments.) My teacher’s response to the paper was, “Maybe your are already living out God’s purpose for you right here. Maybe being faithful to Him now and learning more about Him is your purpose for today.”
I believe there is so much truth in those statements. She was right. Sometimes, our purpose doesn’t feel like it’s impacting anyone, but these in between times may grow our character, lead us to a big life milestone, or simply reveal God to us in a new way.
So as we start a new school year (or continue in your job), I challenge you to live life. To experience every single day. Not to wish away precious moments, but to delight in where the Lord has you and what He is doing. And to open your heart and mind to the everyday miracles you may have missed before.
I hope you have a great start to a new school year 🙂