Hey guys, Seth here.
Yesterday Alex and I were so happy to get to see some friends and family in OKC for a little going away party. We left right afterward from my parent’s house, so that was the last chance I had to really see my family. If you’re a person whose moved around a lot, it may seem like no big deal to be away from your family for a few months, but for me it’s gonna be tough! I’m writing this from the comfort of my mom-in-laws place with my darling Alex by my side. We leave this coming Thursday for New York.
I mentioned in my first post that sometimes I may talk about general life lessons or faith applications that we’re learning. Today’s the day! I’d like to talk in particular about something specific that this time of intense busyness, stress, and change has been teaching us – both as individuals and as a young married couple.
Let me start at the beginning.
As you guys know, our first anniversary was this past Monday. We spent the day in Tulsa, got some anniversary pictures taken (I’ve put two of them on this post for you), and were able to stay in a really nice hotel together. Alex has been wanting a new TV, so we went to Best Buy and splurged a little bit.
Last night we finally got to set ‘er up in her old bedroom and revel in the 4K glory a bit. It was really a sweet moment, now that I think about it. Just imagine two totally frazzled twenty somethings sitting in the middle of a bedroom packed to the gills with everything we own in boxes floor-to-ceiling on all sides. That TV was more than just a TV: it was something, in that moment, that we could control.
We’re overwhelmed with moving. We’re overwhelmed with leaving our family. We’re overwhelmed by the cost of Paris combined with the cost of a transcontinental transplant. We’re overwhelmed with being overwhelmed. But you know what? We could turn on that TV and have control for once. It was nice.
We chatted a bit, and I realized something:
It sure is hard to be content with what we have when what we have is.. well… scattered.
Our stuff isn’t accessible. We’re coming to grips with physical distance from our families. In the midst of all that, being at peace with the few things we can control is tricky. Maybe that’s why sometimes when we have the least control we become the most obsessive, aggressive, temperamental, or perhaps even (in my case) detached.
The ancient Greeks had this idea called the golden mean. I’m no expert, but basically the thought is that all good things can also have a ‘too much’ and a ‘too little’ extreme. I don’t want to get too into it, but I can’t help but think that they’re onto something. Seeking too much control (maybe like us sitting in the middle of chaos turning a TV on to feel relevant) is just as bad as accepting too little control (me locking myself in my room so I don’t have to accept that I’m leaving my family behind for an uncertain future).
Maybe Jesus had this in mind when he gave us some of his commands.
He says ‘give all you have to the poor and follow me’ not because he wants us to suffer, but because he knows that less stuff is a heck of a lot easier to be content with than more.
James pitches in too, reminding us that true religion is caring for the widows and orphans. Maybe this is because when we intentionally help out another person, we exert a healthy control over our own desire to be the center of attention.
Biblical commands for selflessness and generosity aren’t just for the good of others, they’re for OUR good.
I think that no person has every personified the perfect level of control like Jesus. Of course, that sounds super cliche, but hear me out. The dude was – 100% percent of the time – absolutely intentional, absolutely flexible, and absolutely satisfied with where he was. Wow.
Alex and I ain’t there yet. Not even close. But for goodness sake, God hasn’t shoved us onto this scary road for no reason. He has a plan and a purpose for us, and we are committed to becoming more intentional, more flexible, and – in the end – more faithful.
Thanks for sticking with me for this one! Keep leaving us your thoughts down below. If you know someone who might benefit from our story, send them our way. Above all, say a prayer for us.
The next time you hear from us will be from the great town of Houghton, New York!