Can I take this moment to metaphorically speak slowly and softly? I have gained something which, in its simplest of forms, could be described as clarity. Let me explain myself.
Over the last few years, having condensed what I feel to be many years of life experiences, I have chosen to be somewhat colder to the world. I decided to play it safe, to play it mundanely just so I could avoid the hurts that accompany life’s eccentricities. And it took its toll on me. Things that could have been colourful I made dull, things that could’ve been exciting I made lacklustre, and things that could’ve been lovely I made spiteful. All of this stuff were a knee-jerk reaction to trying to prevent hurt. But, boy, did it not work. Life’s hurts kept appearing, kept creeping in, and I felt powerless to its power. This was until Sunday.
The months leading up to Sunday was fascinating. I went along on my own merry way, doing the things I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. I labelled it as a ‘destructive’ pattern, making myself feel like I was in rebellion. I threw myself into the deep end of situations, fully knowing what I was getting myself into, but failing to attain what I had set myself to accomplish. It felt great, because for once in my entire life I felt like I had control over the things I had control over. I was doing things out of my comfort zone, and I was pushing boundaries – mainly out of frustration – and I absolute adored it. But. And here is the big caveat. Though I felt like I was in control and that I was choosing the “rebellion”, God had a grand plan.
And He won.
Oddly enough, now that I look back on my experiences over the last few years I realise one thing: God was grooming me. He took me from my comfort and placed me in the deepest darkest place just so I’d “rebel” and actually man up and go. He took the weakest parts of me and placed them through fire just so He can sharpen me for the future. You may say, but didn’t you already know this? And I would promptly reply, yep, but I didn’t see the entire picture while I was at the moment. All I saw was the pain, the suffering and the grief, and I resented God for it.
But He still loved me.
Coming to Sunday. On Sunday I heard the lead pastor of a church preach about Ecclesiastes – about the vanities of life – and it acted as the glue that bound everything I’ve learned in the last few years. He reminded me that everything in this world – apart from God – is vanities. There is ultimately no meaning to anything in this world as we all share the common end of death. The things that we lost sleep on, the things which pushed us to break, and the things which we loved are all lost in the face of the end. He asked us, how are you spending the limited beats of your heart? And at that moment I answered, not in the same way I had been for the last few years. I now refuse to live a life of monotony and dullness and instead replace it with the colour that God has ultimately created. God has reminded me and solidified in me the truth that life will always be both good and bad, hard and easy and beautiful and ugly, but in all of those moments, He is still the God that runs the universe. Reflecting on my skills now, I am incredibly well off. Through the pain and suffering, God has enabled me to be bold, to be a risk taker and to see the opportunities in life – and take them. He has taught me to appreciate the struggles, to bask in the splendour, and to look forward to seeing life’s unknowns. He has taught me to walk with my head up at all times, as though I am weak in Him I am strong.