GrowUp Already! (Part 2)
Personal Discernment: “Not Adulting Today” or Seeking God?
When “adulting” leaves us feeling under -or over- whelmed, there is a strong temptation to crawl under the blankets, pull up a new series on Hulu, or go shopping with money that we don’t have.
Another option is to power through the feeling. We focus on getting done what needs done until finally the lackluster feeling is replaced by all out exhaustion. I’d like to suggest a middle way between these extremes.
When “adulting” feels lackluster, might we see this as an invitation to seek God? More than 1500 years ago St. Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” If our souls are resisting or restless, then let’s take notice and act.
Let’s become a community of support for one another. Alcoholic Anonymous members understand the power of community. Sobriety is not easy. All the triggers that existed while drinking are still present. A trusted community provides space to be honest and accountable.
Opening our hearts to grace and listening for God’s call is not easy. The demands of life pull us in a hundred different ways on any given day. In this cloud of busyness, we deny our self-worth and remain blind to our unique gifts.
What if we stopped frantically searching for meaning on our own and slowed down so we might journey together?
Let’s stop comparing. Sometimes resistance to “adulting” stems from feeling like we’ve fallen behind. Maybe we failed to achieve a goal? Or missed several payments on the electric bill? Or perhaps we feel general discontent because our lives aren’t where we expected them to be?
When our lives are in a rut, it becomes natural to exaggerate the perceived success of others while over-inflating our own failures. When this happens we must step back, find our center, and look at ourselves through the eyes of our loving God.
Focusing on God’s love brings our lives into perspective. Our successes and our failures are all part of growth. If we have sinned, the ground can be caught up and we can make a change. If we need help from family or friends, then we receive the courage to ask for it. Most often, we discover that we are exactly where we need to be. Things just take time and God is with us.
Let’s take an inventory of our values. There is an old tale of a roofer who diligently set his ladder against the side of a very tall building and spent the rest of the day carrying all manner of supplies up the ladder. Near the end of the day he made one last trip up the ladder to secure the supplies and plan the next day’s work. He was despondent when he realized that he set his ladder on the wrong building.
Sometimes “not wanting to adult” reflects a disconnection between our values and our behaviors. At some level our souls are fighting for air time and need to be heard. Perhaps we’ve placed our ladders on the wrong buildings? You and I were made for more than simply accepting the status quo or assuming our places as cogs in a wheel.
Therefore, the choice before us lies not in whether we will “adult” or not. Rather, the choice before us is: Will we seek God? Will we allow that search to shape how we work, how we live, how we relate to one another? And most importantly, will we allow ourselves to be found?