I just finished reading a book called Love Does by Bob Goff. It is a pretty amazing read and really got me thinking about what I can, should, and want to do with my life. Right now. Not later, but now. And as I finished up my tall Americano at my own personal downtown Starbucks with cool exposed brick and shiny painted concrete floors and turned the last page of my e-book, a lot of really big thoughts were flowing through my mind. Big thoughts that were not necessarily me, like selling my Jeep and moving to India. So I decided to go home and make a list of passions to kick-start my “doing.” I’m kind of like that. A list maker.
Anyways, right about that time that I was pulling out the notebook paper (old school lists are the best) my parents called telling me they were pulling up to my apartment and would I meet them downstairs? I had been waiting on this visit all morning. Had even ditched church in anticipation. But plans changed as they often do and the 11am visit turned to 2pm and here they were. You see, I live in the very deep of downtown Dallas. Parking is nonexistent here, which is unfortunate for people who have friends who want to come visit. The parking situation makes it quite difficult.
When I was in the fifth grade my mom went to the mall and bought me a pair of Doc Martins. You know, those 150 pound boots that were popular in the 90s? I hated them. I mean, I thought they were great, but none of the other kids I was friends with were wearing them and leadership wasn’t really in my make-up at the time. At least not when it came to fashion. But I wore them nonetheless. I bet it was like pulling teeth to get me to go to school with them on, but she went through a lot of trouble to buy them for me and I felt guilty for not wearing them, so off I went to computer class with my 500 pound shoes. No one even noticed and I came to find out in sixth grade that they were really the cool thing to wear. And now that I look back on that time with friends who also had Doc Martins, I discovered they were the coolest thing ever, even making a “best part of being a girl in the 90s” list. That’s kind of how my mom rolls. She is always ahead of the fashion curve so why didn’t I listen to her?
Life has been going like that for me for about forever. She’s pretty much always right. I say “pretty much always” but I can’t think of a time when she wasn’t–whether with an unruly boyfriend or capri-pants, she’s always right. So this apartment decision was really my time to shine–to show my own flare for fashionable, responsible decision-making…
So when the nice lady with spiky red hair and a cool “downtowny” vibe showed my roommate and me the apartment, all we saw was the cool balcony and possibility to live like they did on Friends in New York City–maybe we could walk to the market, meet quirky but fun-loving neighbors, and call the local Chinese food joint for take-out once a week, laugh at an “ugly naked guy” across the street… We wouldn’t have that many visitors anyways, right?
So when my parents came to visit today, stayed for 20 minutes, and left in a rush due to the meter running out, I just about lost it. Why did I choose an apartment where they can only visit every four months for 20 minutes? Why did I choose an apartment where my friends have to pay $8 to see me for an extended amount of time?
Maybe God lets us make mistakes like that so that we can appreciate some things more. Like family and living close to them. And having friends who want to see you and be there for you. Maybe God let me make that mistake to say, “Hey, Katie, stop being so prideful and wanting to make your big, grownup decisions. It’s okay to lean on other people sometimes.” Because isn’t it easy to become prideful about our decision-making, especially when things goes well. We kind of pat ourselves on the back and think, “yeah, that went pretty well, way to go.” I can’t speak for God, but I can sort of speak for Bob Goff, the author of Love Does by quoting a piece of his book.
“Actually, the real game of Bigger and Better that Jesus is playing with us usually isn’t about money or possessions or even our hopes. It’s about our pride. He asks if we’ll give up that things we’re so proud of, that thing we believe causes us to matter in the eyes of the world, and give it up to follow Him. He’s asking us, “Will you take what you think defines you, leave it behind, and let Me define who you are instead?” … When we get our security from Christ, we no longer have to look for it in the world, and that’s a pretty good trade.”
So while I work on my list of passions and plans to DO love as Bob does, I have decided to first lose my pride. I can’t wait for May when I will push it away and say, “mom will you please help me choose where I should live this year.” And I know that both of us will be researching places with extra big parking lots, just in case I have a few visitors.
and so it goes,