My super-awesome and talented friend (who happens to be my best-friend—yes, I still use the term “best-friend”, heh—and founder of Beautiful Are The Feet, Inc. ) sent me a photo the other day. That’s nothing that sounds too exciting; except that the pic was a random candid of me that she took a few
months back, on her Nikon camera during our time in Birmingham, Alabama, which neither of us knew was there. Twas’ a sweet surprise, indeed.
(Photo taken by Esther in downtown Birmingham.
To read about my trip click here)
Photos have a sort of “dreamlike” effect. One look and you’re back in that moment—you can easily recall the exact feelings from that day—the very emotions you felt. It’s a remarkable experience. A picture really is worth a thousand words (cheesy, I know). But, think about how many countless amount of unproductive and idle hours we spend looking through pictures of what people are up to on social media. Let’s face it: we are living in a photo-obsessed culture that loves to dream and reminisce—and it can happen simultaneously.
As I looked at the surprise Birmingham picture-text on my phone, my mind began wandering. Have you ever looked back at yourself in a photo during a specific place and time and felt like you were looking at a different person? It’s easy to reminisce at that person in the picture (strangely enough…yourself) and actually feel jealous of their (your) situation at that moment.
I fixed my gaze on the new (yet old) photo of myself, taken a few months back, and I was suddenly there—in downtown Birmingham on a breezy Fall day in October. It was a day of beauty, simplicity, life, love and encouragement; saturated with coffee, warm biscuits, and Jesus talks on the grass with sweet friends who exist to make you…well, better. My days of travel were in full swing at that time. Although I was wrestling with too many unanswered questions, I was uncertainly certain—God was directing each step—and I was perfectly okay with letting Him lead.
Funny, how the more chaotic the situation, the easier it is to trust. When things are so out-of-control, you have no choice but to surrender.
I catch myself having moments of wishing I could go back to the care-free, whimsical, and hippie-ish girl that I had the joy of being in 2014. My current stage of life isn’t as adventurous, or even glamorous, at times. It’s more…”mundane”, “normal”…”regular”. But who I became because of the adventure and experience is far from any of those things. It’s a brand new season, and I am a brand new person. This season is one of faith, trust, love, and challenges. It’s definitely more demanding with my time and energy—but it’s all the more transcending, pulling me deeper into who I’m supposed to be.
Seasons of life come and go. Sometimes you experience seasons of adventure, and other times life seems far too mundane. But let’s remember that each season of life is building on the last one, transforming us, but ultimately preparing us for what’s next. So, let us rejoice in each past experience, and live fully in our current one.
Life has the tendency of passing by you way too fast, so let’s be content…in whatever our circumstance. And not that “settling-for-comfort” kind of content-ness, but the deep kind—the kind that sometimes feels uncomfortable, yet keeps you present and joyful in each situation. Like Jim Elliot simply put it, “Where you are, be all there.”
The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, quoted in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.”