Saturday I returned from a trip out of town where I spent an entire week with my best friend and her family. Getting to spend every single day with your best friend is a dream, especially for this extrovert. We stopped by multiple bookstores (she’s as wild about books as I am), frequented a particular coffee shop, jammed out to a variety of music during the car rides, had long conversations both deep and ridiculous, ate way too much pizza (just kidding, “too much pizza” is an impossibility), and in general enjoyed life away from life.
But now the week is over. She’s returned to college classes today and I’m back home trying to adjust to the norm, and we both have to accept the fact that we probably won’t see each other again until the summer (living miles away from your best friend is the worst). Regular ol’ life has returned and it’s a bit hard to swallow.
I’m feeling rather scattered; I can’t seem to get my mind to focus on anything. I have about a million and one things I need to catch up on and get done, but all I seem to want to do is disappear in an exciting book or just sit on the porch and stare into space. My mind is refusing to settle back into normality.
I think even the quietest of us longs for adventure. Every day life can sometimes be hard to accept. The drudgery. The sameness. We read books and watch television and wish we could go off to other worlds and have exciting adventures with our best friends. After all, fiction is an escapism. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. As J.R.R. Tolkien says. . .
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its
glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it
his duty to escape? If we value the freedom
of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty
to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
God loves to create, He created everything. And I think we were given that same love and desire. To create. To make new things. To ask “what if?” As long as we are using our abilities to glorify Him, I believe He encourages us to use our creativity to its fullest potential. Sometimes we need distractions from the drudgery of life. But, eventually, we do have to return to normal life.
For so long I never understood why I was dissatisfied with the life I’ve been given. Was I ungrateful to God? Was I just bratty and hard to please? Then, only a couple years ago, I found a quote by C.S. Lewis that made it all clear.
“The fact that our heart yearns
for something Earth can't supply is proof
that Heaven must be our home.”
There it was, and has been all along. We aren’t supposed to be satisfied with this life.
That yearning in our heart we feel every day, it’s a yearning for something far bigger and greater than our earthly minds can even imagine.
We yearn for Heaven, to spend eternity with the very One Who created us.
After all, we’re not to be a part of this world, to be so consumed in it that we forget our Lord and Savior.
But this is the tricky part. Where do we balance being content and peaceful wherever God puts us, while also still yearning for Heaven? That’s where the journey comes in.
You know all those books and TV shows we watch that we wish we could be a part of? Guess what. We’re already there. We’re Frodo and Sam taking the Ring to Mordor. We’re Alice falling through the rabbit hole. This life that we live every single day is the journey.
As exciting as these stories are to read, they’re not always so fun for the characters. Every day Frodo and Sam yearned to return home. Their journey wasn’t exactly fun and games. It was downright hard. But did they regret it? Of course not. Because as hard and impossible as it seemed, they saved all of Middle Earth, and in the end they returned home. Had they given up, not taken the journey, Middle Earth would have been overrun by evil.
This world we live in, its dark and sad and sometimes just hard. But this is our journey. The drudgery, the heartache. Every day. This is what we’re meant to do. Sometimes it’s a scary plummet into the unknown like poor Alice. Sometimes its just a seemingly endless, dull walk like much of Frodo and Sam’s journey. There are joys and pain and excitement and the same ol’, same ol’. But it’s our journey.
God put us here for a purpose. We are His warriors. And if we put one foot in front of the other, eventually we’ll find our purposes fulfilled and that we’ve made it Home.
And that, I think, is how we find contentment in this life and longing for the next. The heroes in our beloved stories press on to make the world a better place. To make it home knowing they’ve done what they were meant to do.
It’s not easy. But it’s worth it to one day hear those word.
“Well done, My good and faithful servant.”
I want to be His warrior. To press on through the drudgery. To live through the adventure He has given me and to be grateful and content with the big and small things of life. But to always keep my eyes on Home.