If you haven’t figured it out, I tend to have a stream of consciousness approach to these posts. Rarely do I know what I am going to end up saying before I say it. For me, that is a part of this exercise. Daily (or not quite daily) emptying my brain of it’s thoughts helps me focus on what is important, as well as have a digital record of all my most amazing quotes.
So as I was sitting down to write today, I thought to myself “Self, what is on your mind?” Nothing. I am sitting here listening to Bob Marley, in between tasks and phone calls and nothing comes. Then a word. Complete. Me being the nerd that I am instantly looked up the etymology and found that it came from the Latin word plere, which means to fill.
Sounds good. What does that mean for me this morning? It’s complicated. I turn 3o in 2 weeks, and as most 30ish aged people, I am deep in the process of finding what balance of life, family, work, fun and other stuff makes me the most complete.
That word has a lot of weight to it if you take a look at what a complete life is. One where at no point do you feel like you are missing anything else, that you are lacking nothing, and every activity you spend time doing contributes to your wellness that day. Boy I have a long way to go figuring that out. I have always struggled with how much time I have for family, and for hobbies, and other stuff. Full time work is a blessing, and I am so grateful for my job. And I love it. I love working for a church, in a church, and with the “big C” Church (the collection of all believers internationally). I am continually filled by working with amazing people and seeing the Spirit working in people’s lives. There is not much I would rather be doing. Well actually….pretty much everything I am doing at any given time I don’t want to do anything else. When I’m with my family, I don’t want to go to work. When I am working and in the zone, I don’t want to go home for fear of missing something great. When I’m playing in a band, I don’t want to do anything else. When I am out playing disc golf, I fantasize about going pro and having my signature on a shiny driver.
I guess the issue at hand is I love to do a LOT of things. So how do I balance my life so I have enough of everything that at any point I’m not missing something else? I don’t think that’s the point. I think there’s a different question to be asked.
Will I ever be complete?
Not in this life. As a follower of Jesus, I know there will be a day when God will take all that is wrong and make it right. That He will fill (make complete) all my deepest longings. No pain, no need unmet, no relational stress, in other words, I will be complete. But that is not the world I live in now. This place is broken, and in need of restoration. If I listen to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, it seems I am part of the remedy. God is using His people to bring about the change in this world. God’s plan for wholeness is for His followers to help make this world whole. One could make the conclusion that in order for me to feel complete, I should stop asking how do I feel complete, and start asking how can I make others complete. What is my brother missing? What does our city need? How can I help that person?
Jesus said He came to give life to the fullest. If I want that life, wouldn’t it make sense that I would live the way He wants me to?
So a long confusing story boils down to this: My quest to be complete is a distraction from what Jesus is calling me and all His followers to do: make the world complete. More accurately, make the world around you complete. In that pursuit, I bet we find what we were looking for in the first place. Isn’t that how it always works…