I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but now that I’ve sat down to do it (at 9pm on a Friday night, go me!), I don’t know where to begin.
I’ve been having a teeny existential crisis over the past few weeks. A couple of things have happened to me to get me into this state. Firstly, a potentially amazing and unique opportunity unexpectedly reared its head about a month ago… and was gone just as soon. I’m not at all surprised that nothing came of it, but once it had appeared on my horizon I couldn’t stop thinking about it, nor feeling really disappointed that it hadn’t worked out.
Secondly, at church we’ve recently had a sermon series on Genesis 1-3, and one week the speaker posed the question ‘Why are we here?’, to which the answer, in a nutshell, was: to live life well.
Live life well? How can you do that when most days you feel like this:
Honestly, I do feel like this a lot of the time. But I started to wonder whether I have been using tiredness and lack of time as an excuse for not living life well, for not excelling in the things I do, and for not making the most of opportunities.
The reality of life looking after children at home full-time is well-documented in funny memes all over the internet, and I’m not about to wade into the mummy wars or say that being a sahm is harder than being a working mum or blah blah blah, because that’s all just rubbish and we are all working hard at loving our children and keeping our homes afloat whatever our circumstances. Life with kids is busy, and tiring. But life without kids, pre-kids, post-kids, whatever, is also busy and tiring. No-one has the monopoly on busyness or tiredness (except maybe mums of babies under one, that is truly gruelling hard work). So what am I saying when I use tiredness as an excuse not to excel at life? Maybe I’m actually being lazy or apathetic, or just pathetic?
The truth is, I don’t want to go through life feeling as if I’m constantly clutching at straws and merely hanging on for survival. I want to live well.
So I’ve set myself a mission: to become more awesome.
I’m not saying that anything I can do will make me a ‘better person’. The only person who can sort me out is Jesus – and thankfully he’s done just that. Nothing I can do will fundamentally change who I am or meet my need for a rescuer. I’m not doing this to become ‘more myself’ or anything like that. I’m already complete in Christ. But! But, but, but… I have maybe 50 or 60 more years left on this planet. My question to myself is: what do I want to do in that time? How do I want to live?
There are lots of obvious answers. Cherish Christ and run a faithful race to the end. Raise my children well. Love my husband. Serve my community. Have a worthwhile job or career. Hold lightly to material possessions. Be kind.
This is all about the How.
The mission to become more awesome is really about putting some flesh on all these great aspirations. Because ‘raising my children well’ isn’t going to happen by magic, nor are any of the other things. I’ll have to make decisions and put in plenty of effort, use time well, not dawdle, be intentional.
I’ve yet to work out what all this will look like in daily life. But the motivation is there! Why shouldn’t I make that three-tier birthday cake that I really want to make for my own birthday? Just because we don’t really need a cake that big doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have fun doing it. Why use tiredness as an excuse for not taking care of my physical health? I know that exercising is important, and I know that I can make time for it. Why not make the effort to spend more time talking and listening to God? I know that it would do me so much good.
I’d love this motivation to live life well and make the most of everything (note to self: that will mean saying No to some, or a lot of, things) to spur me on to a more productive and effective life.
Mission: become more awesome is on!