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'Do not come any closer,' God said. 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.' 
Exodus 3:5

This year, I cannot get over the idea of flourishing: the idea that God is drawing us close and making us new creations in Him. That He is gathering us and giving us prime seats at His table, as He offers us sustenance and living water.  

If you’re anything like me, you want it to be instant, this feast and flourishing. Instead, it’s a labyrinth, a winding road with hills and valleys that will slowly take us to our destination. On this map of life, we focus so far on the pin dot that is way down the road but forget the place where we are standing.

Welcome to what I like to call the here and now. Here and now, I’m a college student. I’m taking four English classes and am completing more reading and writing than I ever thought possible. I’m learning what it means to pursue and focus on Christ-centered relationships. I’m seeking to live out the Gospel in my life and on my campus. This is a challenging and rigorous season of growth, and this is my here and now.

Despite the fact that the Lord has me in a place of contentment and blessing, I still wonder why it doesn’t feel like I’m flourishing on certain days. Oftentimes, I get so caught up in the distractions of this world that I miss the fact that I am on a journey to fiercely pursue Jesus.

We want to be fully at the table. We want to be entirely flourishing, but this is a flawed and messy world. None of us will ever be entirely satisfied until we reach heaven. Nothing is going to be perfect until we are experiencing the unexplainable fulfillment of eternity with Jesus. We will never experience the complete fullness of His feast until we are experiencing the glory that outweighs all.

This does not mean we’re without hope.

Despite the fact that we will never be entirely at the table until we’re experiencing eternity, despite the truth that we live in an imperfect world, God is still bringing us home. He is still walking with us. He is still offering us bread of life and living water.

Wherever you are, there is joy in this journey. There is rest up ahead. There is promise in the present, in the place where you are standing.

I’m tired of sitting back and waiting for fulfillment when it’s already here.

Life is a masterpiece. It’s broken and cracked in places, but it’s bursting with the grace of God, and it’s meant to be savored and cherished and appreciated.

I’m learning that it’s so good to desire flourishing in Him, that it’s so important to gather around His table and draw others in through His love, but we cannot neglect our journeys. We cannot disregard the places where we are.

There is so much joy in these moments. The everyday is so saturated with His presence and His love. I’m learning to celebrate the here and now, the holy ground where I am standing.

The late-night Bible studies where we simply learn what it means to be the church as we read through Acts together.

The Thursday coffee dates where we talk about life and God and all the things we love.

The chocolate chip pancake weekends, and the chilly February strolls around campus, the conversations we put our phones away for.

The early mornings with Him, when I realize that in appreciating the breath in these lungs, I am flourishing and gathering more than I could ever imagine. That by holding His hand, I am in the best place I could ever hope to be.

In this season, God is simply whispering, “Walk with Me. Just keep walking with Me. Slow down for a moment and realize that the place where you are standing is blessed and exactly where you should be.”

Because when we’re walking with Jesus, everywhere we stand becomes holy ground.

Welcome to the here and now. What a beautiful place to be.

-Sydney Hornsby // @sydney_hornsby

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