Today marks the 25th anniversary of me being alive this side of the womb. And of all the 25 years which I can remember, there hasn’t been one in which I haven’t wanted to fly away, travel, and embark on adventures which I can reminisce on and tell stories of in later years.
And yet, today also marks 25 years of never doing any such thing.
So far, I’ve convinced myself that travel, adventure, and free-lance writing isn’t compatible with a Christian life. Or at least, my Christian life. Year in, year out, I’ve made excuses and given myself reasons as to why I should ignore my desire to see the world and to run wild. And, so far, I’ve been successful.
Or at least, superficially successful. Even in my calmest months, when I am content to keep my hand at what it is already doing, it only takes a small spark to reignite the almost overwhelming fire which longs to spread my wings and fly.
It’s only in recent months (or perhaps years… life seems to have blurred together for a while there), that I’ve been asking myself whether or not it’s true.
Is it true that a life that suits me is unsuited to a life still completely committed to the gospel?
There’s a song in The Lion King 2 (don’t mock it ’til you watch it!) called We Are One. In it, Simba’s daughter sings about her budding identity crisis, asking, If there’s so much I must be, can I still just be me, the way I am?
I always liked that song. I always liked that line.
I’ll be the first one to say that our natural desires and inclinations can be deceptive and sinful. I’m not changing my tune now – I do think when we commit ourselves to Christ, we need to earnestly pray about and discern whether the things we feel that we want or need are really things that God wants for us, or even aligned with Scripture.
But, I think I’m brave enough now to also ask whether we necessarily have to deny what we want to do simply because we want to do it, or whether, perhaps, God has given us the desire that is in our hearts because the Body of Christ is made up of many parts.
(I didn’t mean for that to rhyme but I like it so much that I’m gonna keep it)
If it is something in me that I do need to keep denying in order to live the life and ministry that God has called me to, then I will. But maybe it’s more than just wishful thinking to at least explore the idea that it’s okay to both lay my life down for Jesus and embark on the kind of adventures that I have, for my entire life, dreamed of embarking on.
Maybe it’s the quarter-life-crisis talking. Maybe it’s not. Maybe these questions and thoughts won’t really change anything for me, and I’ll just keep tracking along in the direction I have been as of late. But maybe something will change.
Either way, I’ll keep you guys posted.
Whatever else these 25 years have or haven’t been, they have been in Christ. And I am determined that however many more the Lord may grant me, they will only be increasingly committed to Him and His Kingdom.