I reach for the lamp as he reaches for me. Tickling leads to cuddling with our limbs entangled and his head on my chest. My lips brush the top of his buzzed head.
“Are you alright babe?”
“Yeah,” I say, but the sigh that follows is involuntary.
“Are you sure you’re ok?” Brian pulls his head back to look at my face.
I don’t know how he has this sixth sense that something is on my mind, even when I myself don’t know how to express it.
“It’s just…when life is good, moments like this, days like the last couple weeks, I feel uneasy. Like something terrible and tragic is about to happen.” I pull him in closer. “It’s ridiculous, I know. I can’t really enjoy being happy because I’m afraid that something bad might happen.“
We lie in silence, and I think about all the people in my life who are suffering. A high school friend whose father was killed suddenly in an ATV accident. Maureen, who recently lost her little nephew, and a few days later, her sister also passed away. Kristen, who carries the weight of the suffering in Kenya while living an ordinary life in Texas. Friends of friends with cancer.Viviene and her husband facing uncertainty and another move. Heather mourning the loss of a daughter.
And then I look at my life. I sleep in until 8 a.m., read my Bible and pray, write while sipping coffee, enjoying the birds singing outside and the cool morning breezes. During lunch I get to talk to Brian, and even though we don’t have much to say to each other, it’s nice to hear his voice and “I love you!” Then I work on the scrapbook for my sister’s high school graduation party. I’ll be flying back to Iowa in a few days and get to see my friends and family, all alive and well. Brian and I are getting ready to move in July to a house, with a dog and a yard with flowers and a hot tub.
Life is so easy right now. I’m not suffering. I feel like I should be.
Not in a masochist type of way, but I just feel like when life is hard, when I’m going through trials and crises, I’m closer to God. It’s easier to be close to God, because I feel like I really, really need him. When life is good I start slacking off, flipping through my Bible reading and thinking about my next blog post while I’m praying. And I wait for tragedy to strike.
When life is easy, it’s also boring. Not the lazy summer day kind of boring, but the soul-sucking dreading waking up the next day kind of boring. There’s nothing in particular that we dread, work is going well for Brian and I have several projects to work on. It’s just that it feels like every day is a repeat of the one before…like treading water, moving without going anywhere.
“I’m just killing time before going to bed, so I can wake up tomorrow, go to work, come home and kill more time.” Brian said Monday night. It’s depressing. And I don’t think this is how life is meant to be.
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
I don’t think an abundant life is one that consists of killing time. I feel like we’re just going through the motions right now. I feel too comfortable and complacent.
On the other hand, I know I should learn to be content, regardless of the circumstances.
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
Based on this verse, I think I can say that it’s not sinful to have plenty, if you are content.
I am content with where we live, our finances, our apartment, our relationship, but there are other areas that I know I’m not being content. We found out that more friends of ours are leaving. I’m not content with our very small square of friends (Yes, I said square, because two people plus Brian and me makes four, so that makes a square, not a circle). I’m not content with our ministry involvement, I feel like we’re just warming a pew when we help out with the youth group. I’m not content with where I am spiritually. I’m complacent, and I’m not content with that.
And this leads me to believe that God has something more in store for us in the near future.
Instead of fearing the next crisis, maybe I should be channeling that energy into anticipating the next adventure.
Will you pray for us? Pray that we will ready, that we would not fear, and that we would be content, regardless of the nature of the next adventure. Pray that we will recognize it when it comes.