Your 20's and beyond
Your 20’s are filled with transitions; moving houses, changing jobs, reorienting your goals, making plans, saying goodbye for now to good friends and hello to new ones. There’s just something about being in your 20's that feels so unstable and non-permanent. If you’re not feeling that yet, don’t worry, you will. And yes, it’s terrible and wonderful all at the same time.
I attended a staff lunch at my work last week where a speaker came and shared about why transitions are so hard. We just had some pretty big staff transitions so the speaker wanted to touch on some of the difficulties transition brings. He made a few really great points, but the one that stood out most to me was this: vision is what drives us and keeps us moving forward. Amidst the awkwardness and seeming instability of transition, it is the pursuit of the vision we have that will keep us going. What do I mean by vision?
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”
Your vision is what you set your eyes on. It is where your affections lie and your thoughts drift in solitude. This is your vision; the thing that pulls you forward like a magnet. The thing about life, and not just in your 20's, is that nothing really is permanent. Everything from jobs to relationships, to your income, your feelings, personalities, what’s currently in your closet and on your Instagram, all of those things are fleeting. They are here for a moment and gone the next, replaced by something else or gone altogether. I don’t say this to depress you, Lord knows I need to hear it too. I say it because so many people make fleeting things their vision and rely on those things to get them through the hard things in life. I personally place heavy emphasis on my relationship status, believing that the possibility of a companion or a boyfriend or a spouse is what keeps me going and moving forward to the next thing. When I finally find the person I’m meant to share myself and my life with, that’s when things will feel settled. Even typing that now sounds crazy to me, but I actually think this way much of time, maybe not on the surface, but definitely a few levels down. Consider what consumes your thoughts throughout the day, what you wake up and go to sleep thinking about. Try and recall your day today and where your mind drifted when you were alone and not focused on anything in particular. There’s a good chance that what you thought about most today is actually what you believe to be the most important thing in your life. Now, I have to say that there’s nothing wrong with me thinking about or even desiring someone to spend my most intimate and average moments with - that’s beautiful and I believe God gave me that desire. It is when I allow those things to consume much of my thought life and be what motivates me to move forward that we have a problem. If nothing is permanent in this life then nothing is perfect, and so even our most beautiful thoughts can disappoint us.
So what ought our vision be? The only vision that will truly sustain us must be permanent and unchanging, faithful when we are unfaithful, loving when we are unloving, merciful when we make mistakes and strong when we feel like we just can’t keep going. Our vision has to be Christ. He must be the magnet that pulls us forward. In transition, we as humans, have a tendency to flail around a little bit. We feel lost and unfocused and probably a little scared. Jesus is the only sure thing when we are standing firm and in sinking sand. With our eyes fixed on Jesus, our circumstances may not change as quickly as we’d like, but our hearts will only grow in affection and our trust in him only sharpened. Life is illuminated a little more when Jesus is made the center. After all, isn’t all of life about Jesus and his work on a cross bringing us righteousness and salvation and joy and just about everything else good?
Making Jesus our vision is both a decision and a process. It is saying, yes Jesus, today I want to fix my eyes on you and not my circumstances or even the day ahead. Today I want you to be the person that I grow nearer to and then letting the day unfold.
I have a move ahead, a new job, and probably some new friendships and through those transitions I so want Jesus to be my vision.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.