Guest Post: By Katie E. Linnartz
this post is written from my own personal experience, but i hope that most can relate to in one way or another
I want to pack for CSU. It’s 6 months away and first, I have to at least make it through this semester, but I want to pack for Colorado. Plans are being discussed, arrangements being finalized, and this 6 week adventure is in the foreseeable future. Memories of summer 2013 are growing sweeter and making themselves more comfortable in my mind, all while building upon the escalating anticipation for the summer of 2015. Maybe there’s something I can do to draw the days in closer; FaceTime far away friends, browse through old photos, and I might as well just pack my bags! Yes, it is ridiculous, but what’s a girl to do with so much to look forward to?
Now while dreaming of the future is exiting for a moment, I can never fully indulge in my thoughts. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I know this is not how it is supposed to be. It’s the same feeling accompanied with seeing a 12 year olds’ wedding board on Pinterest. It’s the idea that maybe there’s something better I could be doing with my time than thinking about another day. Even if the most fun of your life is concentrated into 6 weeks, it’s not worth wishing away the 2 years between.
So what’s the harm in reminiscing about the past and thinking about the future? Well nothing, if thought of accordingly. Paul says in Philippians ” I thank my God every time I remember you” when talking about his dearly loved friends. He is thinking of his missed ones, praising God for the time he got with them, and praying for their well being. But note, Paul is not saying “like OMG all I do is think of you, and just wait till we are reunited!! xoxo.” It is not a sin to long for something greater, in fact it’s the way we were created; to be constantly yearning for heaven. But It can not always be so wholesome if we let it become a little too much. Excessively longing for something on Earth will almost always distract and discontent.
In the story of Esther, Esther’s cousin Mordecai warns Esther to not remain silent and to take action for her endangered people by making the most of her royal spot in the palace. He declares that God has placed her where He did “for such a time as this.” Esther definitely did not ask to become this stupid King’s wife, and I bet you she would give a lot to be somewhere else. But God put her right where she was to be present and to be an advocate of His cause. Esther didn’t let herself become distracted by what life used to be like or how it might one day be, but listened to God’s perfect plan for where she was right then. We have been placed at our schools and communities for such a time as this. So wake up before it’s too late and today has slipped away. Ephesians 5:15-16 says “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Multiple times this summer we spent vulnerable moments in worship singing “no place I would rather be.” “No place I would rather be, than here in your love.” But not just there in his love. Right here, where ever you are. I wouldn’t rather be at CSU, I would rather be fully and completely abiding and covered in my Savior’s love. It is available and waiting to be experienced anywhere on this great Earth. God doesn’t give us beautiful experiences to idolize them, but because He truly loves his children, this makes him more worthy of praise than any amount of time spent in Fort Collins. We can always be content if God is our joy and our hope, not people or places.
God is I AM. Not “I was” or “I will be” but I AM. So when I’m in Fort Worth, Texas, I am going to be completely in Fort Worth, Texas. And eventually when that day comes, I will be fully present in Fort Collins, Colorado. Some people might say I have left my heart in many places. From summer projects and staff conferences, to living overseas and short term mission trips, I have lived lots of life in many different places, all of which I love dearly. But my heart is fully intact, and in fact, it is overflowing. I have not left my heart in any place, I have taken them all with me, in sweet spots that make me smile. So with a full heart I will live every day, glancing ahead occasionally, but focused on where God has me, and content that He is with me.