What Next?

22 Jun

Have you ever looked forward to something for so long, and before you knew it, it was over? A much anticipated wedding day, a family vacation, a get together with friends, or perhaps the visit of a most cherished cousin from San Francisco? (I guess you can see where I’m coming from!)

It’s been two days since my cousin Christine left. Two days since we said our goodbyes, knowing that once again it would likely be over a year since we can see each other again. We looked forward to that week together for months. We planned. Anticipated. Made lists (big surprise).  And now it’s over and I’m left thinking “Now what do I do with myself?”

I write this as I am preparing to leave for a family vacation. In three short hours we will be heading to the airport. Our bags are packed, the plane tickets are in hand, and the getaway we’ve been planning for months will shortly begin. But I’m onto things. I know exactly what will happen. God willing, if all goes well, I will be back on my couch in the blink of an eye, and I know just what I’ll be thinking: “It’s over already? What should I start looking forward to next?”

Can I be honest with you? Sometimes I feel like life is a series of events that I look forward to for months, and then look back on with sadness for being over so soon. I can never understand how the time went so fast, and I’m always looking for the next thing that can occupy my time, fill my heart and give me a sense of purpose and excitement. It’s kind of exhausting. And so not how God intends for me to life.

Why do I say that? I mean, in one sense it’s normal. As long as we are alive we will be looking forward to coming days, planning for events and reflecting on the resulting memories. The problem arises when I find my life’s meaning and satisfaction in these passing events. When the root of my happiness is the birthday parties, the family get togethers, the vacations, the celebrations, I will find myself constantly disappointed, constantly grasping for more, constantly exhausted. Why? Because all of these things are temporary, they fade away, they come to an end.

Of course we can have joy and excitement from the blessings we enjoy on this earth. But my heart naturally defaults into living for these blessings, rather than living for the God who gives the blessings. They were never intended to create the meaning of my life – only to point to the goodness of the God who bestows them.

God calls us to set our hearts on what is PERMANENT. To find our satisfaction on what is ETERNAL and UNFADING. What is permanent, eternal and unfading other than the Almighty God, the Gospel, the unfading Words of Scripture? Listen to the words of this verse:

1 Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Sure we will continue look forward to things, enjoy them, and even be sad when they are over, but as believers they cannot define our lives, nor should they drive our lives.  On the contrary, they should merely be the back drop of our lives, and the center stage should be occupied by the relationships that our hearts are enjoying with the Lord.

So….Bon Voyage my friends. May God remind me that the only thing that truly makes this vacation sweet is His presence…and thank God this will be a constant reality when I find myself back at home!

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2 Responses to “What Next?”

  1. Tanya June 22, 2012 at 7:32 AM #

    Great post Dina! And so what’s been on my mind too! I have 5 weeks off in July and I was getting all worried that it would pass by too quickly, and the fun would be all over. But then was reminded through Gods word that He is my portion for all my days. Not just when I’m on vacation! Thank you for sharing your heart and enjoy your trip! 🙂
    Love, Tanya

  2. sophie fanous June 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM #

    Very true Dina, but I want you back at home too.

    Ee

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