When we were falling asleep last night, Todd asked why I’m running in ten different directions and scared to sit still. He said the minute I finish one project, I move on to the next. “It’s okay to BE,” he said, “and I guess I’m wondering what you’re searching for.”
Slipping from my tongue like jello off a spoon in a toddler’s clumsy hand I said, “Meaning.”
Queue the tear-duct faucets.
I felt like the protagonist at the beginning of a cheesy Christian movie— you know, the girl who stares at the ceiling every night, wondering if her life has meaning before she meets a wise old sage who explains the purpose of life in one conversation.
I look online and feel behind because it seems like everyone’s climbing the American ladder and buying bigger houses and quitting their jobs and making money and getting fit. I wonder if I’m just *one* mindset-shift away from a care-free, adventurous, easy life where I can have perfectly manicured fingernails and Instagram-worthy-curled-hair and a bright white kitchen with bright white walls and bright white teeth.
Then I say,
“Savannah. You know better.
This is a curated reality.
THIS IS A CURATED REALITY.
THIS. IS. A. CURATED. REALITY.
….unless it’s not? Maybe the grass is greener over there?”
So I hustle. I grind it out. I say yes to everything even if I don’t have time because if I say no, I’m scared I’ll never get asked again. I drink deeply from the well of productivity, sometimes five, ten times a day, yet my soul is dehydrated. I ignore her cries.
This is what everyone’s doing, I think.
I know what’s best for me, I think.
God is withholding, I think.
I finished my word study for school on Tuesday.
Jesus said, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Greed’s empty promise is that life is found in THINGS. Greed tangles a web in our hearts, creating toxic attachments to our possessions.
Later in that passage Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Your heart is your tell.
Your heart acts like the compass Jack Sparrow carried around in Pirates of the Caribbean (moment of silence to honor Johnny for fearlessly owning that eyeliner). It exposes your treasure. You might ignore it or sugar-coat it or paint a cross over it, but the truth of what you treasure most is in your heart.
When Todd asked what I was searching for and I instinctively spouted out, “Meaning!” my treasure was exposed. Digging deeper, meaning was undergirded by success. Success was undergirded by money. Money was undergirded by security. Security undergirded by independence. Independence undergirded by never wanting to rely on anyone for anything so I never get hurt (self-protection).
Consider the lilies, Jesus said. They can’t earn a thing, but God clothes them with more glory than the richest of kings. How much more will you be clothed, beloved child?
Everyone says social media is fueled by comparison, but, at least for me, it’s also fueled by greed. Greedy for what’s next. Greedy for more. Greedy for empty promises in my search for meaning. Bigger barns. Bigger houses. Bigger storage. More money. More influence. More fame and friends and white walls.
And we go to bed dehydrated. Numb. Wondering about meaning.
And just as soon as the still whisper begins her work, a screen lights up on the bedside table; we pick up our phones, and start again.