Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You are where you are

It's not at all unusual for people to have a sense of dissatisfaction about their circumstances. "I really don't have a peace that I'm where God wants me to be." Or: "This is not where I envisioned being at this stage in my life." Or worse: "I don't know what I want to do with my life, but I know it's not this."

I think the question to ask is: What can you do where you are, while you're there?

A small bit that is good news and bad news: I suspect every life ends with something left unfinished. If you're living life to the fullest, you'll always be doing something until you can't anymore. So if you have a nagging feeling or a firm conviction that your life's mission is something else, don't fret too much about it, just start working on getting to that something (or somewhere) else. And if you're not too sure what your purpose is, well, start thinking (and, if you're so inclined, praying) — with a little self-examination, you'll find that mission, or you may discover you're already doing it.

And for better or for worse, you are where you are now. See what's possible under these circumstances because, for the moment, this is what you have to work with.

What I'm saying is not the old cliché "Bloom where you're planted." You have a huge advantage over a plant: You're mobile. You don't stay planted. You're on a journey. Not only are you not required to stay in one place, that's completely opposite of who and what you are.

To a huge extent the journey is the reward. The downside is if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. OK, those are both clichés, but they're better clichés and more to the point than "Bloom where you're planted."

And even more to the point, you won't make any progress if you spend too much time moping about being at this particular spot on your journey. Much is made in Christian theology about how Jesus worked with people where they were — he mingled with people his society despised, even (gasp!) tax collectors. If he worked miracles with those folks in their circumstances, he can work miracles with you in yours.

You are where you are. What can you accomplish while you're there? And if you're dissatisfied with where you are, what can you do — now — to get where you'd rather be? There's enough time in every day to do what you're doing and work on the things that will get you elsewhere, even if you can only find time for just one tiny step.

If you're sure you want to be somewhere else, taking those steps will make you feel better. And even if you're not sure, taking steps in one direction will help you clarify if it is, indeed, the direction you want to go. Sometimes exploration reveals you actually are where you were "meant" to be. More likely the uneasiness is a signal to get moving.

But you are where you are. This is what you have to work with. "What next?" is a decent question. A better question: What now?

Suggested reading: 48 Days to the Work You Love, Dan Miller; Do It! Let's Get Off Our Buts, Peter McWilliams.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home