Sunday, October 12, 2008

Next or Now?

Last spring, all of the members of Ozark's camp teams went on "wilderness retreat." It wasn't my favorite weekend of the semester. In fact, it was maybe my least favorite. And I even had it easy, because I got to sleep indoors for two nights while most people slept out in tents. And we did all the normal things that you would expect on such a retreat, like team-building activities and eating hot dogs and standing on planks and being wiped out by 5'3" girls in capture-the-flag. But the first thing we did when we got there was spread out and spend about two hours by ourselves, giving us a chance to pray and read and meditate and journal and all of that. And that maybe made the rest of the weekend worth it. It was at an especially stressful time in my semester when I tend to neglect my time with God, so having that time and space helped tremendously and got me organizing my thoughts and feelings a bit. And during that time, I wrote something in my notebook that I feel like sharing, and maybe I'll comment on it a little bit. So here it is:

My cell phone isn't in my pocket. About fifty times, I've had the urge to pull it out and see what time it is. I have this obsession with time. Not necessarily because I'm so busy and am always on the go. More because I'm always thinking about what's next. I have this attitude that the next is always better than the now. I'm never content with the moment that I'm in.

I remember in high school at worship at CIY, I always hoped that it would never end. I felt I could stand and sing forever. How much I've changed since then. Even in really great worship times, I think, "Hm, the sermon should be coming up pretty soon." And during an awesome sermon: "I think this has been about 30 minutes; he should be winding down here."

I approach everything with this attitude. Even simple stuff like watching a movie or playing cards. And the result is that I end up not really enjoying anything at all. I always think that things will be better later. Why can't they be better now? What keeps me from loving every moment and making the most of every second? I think it's time to leave the cell phone in my room more often.

I don't know how long I've been out here. I think at least an hour. Maybe less. Maybe a lot more. And I don't know how long I'm going to be here. I'm sick. I'm cold. I'm uncomfortable. My butt kind of hurts. But let this be a time that I make the most of and that has an impact on the rest of the semester, summer, and my life. Live in the now.

That was all about sixish months ago. And I haven't really changed all that much. Actually, I wear a watch all the time now, so maybe I'm even worse about this than I was. It's like, every day, my goal is just to get by--to survive. I'm not too concerned about doing anything too positively or negatively. I just want to get through so that I can get to the next day, hoping that maybe it'll be a little better than this one was. And what a dumb, dumb way to live.

I have things very good. I go to a school that I love, and right now there's no where else in the world that I would rather be. I have the greatest friends that I could every ask for. I have a phenomenal family. But all the time it seems, I walk around wishing things were somehow different, and I think that difference will occur someday down the road. Granted, there's things in my life that I genuinely wish were different, but most of it is really nothing. I have a fantastic life now, and I don't appreciate it or use it. I'm so busy wigging out about whether or not I'll be happy tomorrow or next year or in five years that I don't open up my eyes to the opportunities that in front of me today. Is the next really better than the now? Only if I keep on treating the now like it sucks, when it really doesn't at all.

1 comment:

Brigette said...

David. Thanks for the comment on my blog. Even though you yelled it as loudly as electronically possible, it seriously made my day.

These really are great thoughts. Keep up the good work!