Those of you who spend much time around me know that this has become one of my favorite expressions. Really, when you look at it, there’s not much to hate about my life. After all, I’m single, living at home, earning money, getting ready to start school, playing volleyball, riding my bicycle…what isn’t there to love? So why is the phrase, “I hate my life,” so quick to escape my lips at the slightest glitch in plans? Scripture clearly says that it is “out of the mouth that the heart speaks.” Is it that inside I really do hate my life, or is it rather than I have a wrong perspective on life? I would like to think the latter.
It has come to my attention over the last month that my excitement over the Gospel has lessened these last few months. I’ve become more entranced with the shiny things that the world has to offer and less focused on the real treasure. I look up from my desk and see a picture of a young Simbari boy with the words imprinted underneath: “Sir. We would see Jesus.” Directly below that is another picture of a Bena believer. Across the room, a Voice of the Martyrs map asks “Who will you pray for today?” The very thing which I claim to live for is not being ripped away from me; no, I am giving it away piece by piece as I choose rather to love the things of the world. Fast cars, fast bikes, loud music, and extreme sports are not evil in and of themselves. The problem begins when I choose to value these things more than I value the Gospel.
Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to hear a young man from Maine speak to a group of high school and college students on the Gospel. As a good friend of mine put it, “the pure, unadulterated Gospel is like Vitamin C for the soul.” As I listened to this young man share, my heart was stirred with the remembrance of once sharing this same passion. Only a few months ago, I was there, vibrantly living life as an extension of my excitement and thrill over the Gospel. A week earlier, I skipped Wednesday night’s college group meeting because I was “bored” with it. A week later and I would have never heard this simple explanation of the Scriptures in view of Christ as my work schedule would have prohibited me from attending. The Lord knew, in His sovereign plan, that I needed to be reminded of my purpose.
Purpose. What a confusing concept. What are my goals? As a high school and college student, my goals seem to change with every passing fancy. One day I want to jump off a bridge, the next I’m considering riding my bicycle cross-country. Thus, when I look at my purpose in life, I need to look long-term. What is my long-term goal that gives me purpose and defines how I live life right now? Simply put, my desire is to reach the next generation for Christ. Specifically, I want to teach high school level students at a MK school overseas. How does that affect what I”m doing right now? Yes, I’m earning money to go to school in order to make this dream a reality, but this goal needs to affect more than my financial plan. The Gospel requires a lifestyle change. Singularly, in my life right now, I need to be much bolder about my faith–because its not about me, its about Him. If only I could remember that, moment by moment, of every day: life is not about me, its about Jesus Christ. Everything is about Him!
That said, though not so concisely, I am determined to go back to Christ-centered thinking. Whether I’m reading my Bible, playing volleyball, or jamming out to my music, the key must be Christ. I believe that I have been created by God to enjoy certain things, albeit in moderation, and in so doing, to give Him the glory. When I am living my life for Christ, and Him alone, then I cannot honestly say that “I hate my life,” for it is Christ who gives me life, and it is for Him that I live or die….and if Christ is my everything, then it is with joy that I live my life for His glory.