A friend recently announced his acceptance of a position with an international company requiring his family to relocate to a city that my wife and I love but have no realistic hopes of moving to any time soon. It’s a great opportunity with a great company in a great part of the country. He will do well there, and from all I can tell he definitely deserves this. In my head, I’m happy for him.
Meanwhile, in Secret
In my heart, I’m incredibly jealous. You see, a year and a half ago my wife and I were going to be moving to this same great part of the country doing a great new thing. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. The fallout was incredibly painful and, coupled with another personal tragedy, only compounded the sense of failure, isolation, and pain that I felt.
In God’s providence, He has seen fit to be faithful to us through the pain. I greatly enjoy the position to which God has led me. I love working with college students. I love living in Athens. I love that my wife and I are close enough to enjoy a close relationship with at least part of our family. None of these things would be a reality if our previous plan had worked out.
But there’s still that small voice of jealousy and hurt that lingers in the back of my mind. There’s still that part of me that wonders why things seem to work out the way others plan but my plans never seem to materialize. Further, sometimes it really feels like God sees me making plans and almost intentionally frustrates them. I want to shake my fist and yell, “I get it!”
An Unobstructed View
Mountains have always been spiritually significant to me. In my book, there aren’t many more worshipful experiences than hiking up a mountain and watching either a sunrise or sunset while taking in the scenery.
The view is always breathtaking, and in the moment I never remember how arduous the climb was. I don’t remember tripping and scraping my knee. I don’t remember walking through that spider web or the feeling of it being stuck to my face for a solid half hour afterwards.
Presently, I’m still in the climbing phase of my life. Some that I know have seemingly arrived at the top and are enjoying the view. Others are still scraping their knees or navigating the spider webs. But if my walk with Christ has taught me anything, it’s that he is always moving and at work in my life. He uses every stumble, every wrong turn, every skinned kneed, every spider web to build me into the man who will, in the end, enjoy the unobstructed view of his handiwork in my life.
I don’t always enjoy the process and it occasionally gets hard to see others enjoying the view when all I see is beehives, but my faith is in a God bigger than my perception.
It’s sometimes infuriating, but it’s always beautiful.