The American Dream. Who defines this? How can an opinion and preference really be defined? The measurement of success and fulfillment vary from person to person, so why does society try to label success as one thing or another? It’s frustrating. I have many friends who strive for the big house, the fancy cars and the white picket fence. To them, that is the definition of success, and that’s what makes them happy. But me? I have prayed since I was a teenager that I would not live an ordinary life. I guess my definition of success and happiness is a bit off kilter from the Dallas society that I’m used to. So what is my idea of success? It’s doing what I love, having the ability to travel and explore, having meaningful relationships, taking the time to enjoy the simple things in life…and in one word- freedom. I would choose experiences over material things any day. It’s not the amount of money you have or the achievements you proclaim that define success- it’s what you do with them.
And today I find myself in this season, a holding place if you will, that has got me frustrated. There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to see. But for now, I wait.
Let’s be honest, the thought of change is frightening to most people. The majority of the world (and most people I know) want to live in comfort and stability, nestled in their quiet neighborhood in the burbs with no disruption and no change. Yet, I find comfort in change like an old friend. Frankly, the lack of it gets me bored and restless. Maybe that’s why the thought of buying another house leaves me uneasy. The thought of being tied down to one place indefinitely? No thanks. Not right now. This season may be short and soon will come a time in my life that I will desire to be “settled”, to have roots planted and to live a quiet, predictable life. I may even look back on these thoughts one day and think how foolish I was. But for now, that desire is no where to be found in me. I long for adventure and change. I feel that I am called to GO, SEE and DO. This is where the restlessness comes into play. The fruition of these deeps longings is at a stand still. I’m praying “Lord, make it happen!”…and nothing. “Are you there Lord?”, I wonder. “Do you see my frustration? Isn’t it You who gave me these desires in the first place? Then, come on! Let’s do this! What’s the hold up?” I’m like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Then, in the midst of my frustration and restlessness comes His abounding love, pouring over me once again. I can feel it. No matter my frustration, I just can’t escape it. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane in this season of restlessness.
I am a dreamer, which is extremely ironic considering I am very much Type A (how does that even make sense?) and unfortunately, I find myself living so far in the future that I forget to enjoy today. This moment. I find my self wishing away the current days while I wait for the “grand and magical” future that I am planning to arrive. Who am I kidding? I’m not promised tomorrow. So I better start enjoying today…all of it. Even the seemingly “boring” parts.
So, in this season of restlessness, I hold tight to my dreams and continue to persevere. It’s the only thing I know to do. And I am thankful.