When I was an “angsty” 15 year old, I wrote a lot of poems.
I would sit on the driveway staring at clouds until some inspiration struck. Most days I would end up writing out the lyrics to Jonas Brothers songs (hence the reason for angsty being in quotation marks up there), but sometimes the inspiration did come.
That summer, a theme emerged in many of poems – monotony.
I was B O R E D with my life, tired of “being stuck” in one place and watching life pass me by, unable to go anywhere on my own, wanting to see more of the world but not really having a way to do so, desiring a closeness to others that was nearly impossible to find because of the walls I had built around my own heart. I was lonely, I was tired, and life was monotonous.
In the years since 2008, my life has truly been anything but monotonous. I have left home, traveled, made some incredible friends, and lived more life than I thought I could. But it has been absolutely turbulent. I haven’t settled in any one place for more than 9 months at a time, and all of that shifting and moving and living out of boxes gets tiresome.
So what did I do? I made a commitment for at least the next two years to go wherever FOCUS wants me and basically continue living that turbulent life of a college student for a little bit longer. (#crazy? or #called)
But it astounds me how much I now find myself craving that same monotony that I used to loathe. I can’t wait until the day where I can wake up in a house that I’ve lived in for a year, two years, three years. I can’t wait for a routine, a daily schedule, consistent faces, and stability.
This season of life is insane. It’s enough to make anyone lose their mind, even if only for a few days at a time. Most days it’s easy to bear for now – the excitement of another new place and more new friends outweighs how much I don’t want to put all my stuff in boxes yet again and move it. But there are days when the thought of another suitcase, another box, another house, another cheap bed because there’s no point investing in something nice yet makes me want to scream.
When these days come, I am so grateful for the stability that I find in Christ. As St. Paul tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8). The Church is consistent. The sacraments are constant. God’s mercy remains. His love never fails, never alters, never ends.
I’ve been reading some of the poetry of St. John Paul II lately. My favorite is the first one on the page in that link, titled “The Stream”, and especially the first part of it, called “Wonderment”.
The undulating wood slopes down
to the rhythm of mountain streams.
To me this rhythm is revealing You,
the Primordial Word.
How remarkable is Your silence
in everything, in all that on every side
unveils the created world around us …
There is a constant motion in the universe, graces streaming down from the source, which JPII begs to find in the second part of this poem (“Where are you, source? Where are you, source?!”). The source of this life, this grace, is God, and the entirety of His creation points back to Him as its source.
In “Wonderment”, he discusses the fact that while everything moves and runs its course, man has the special gift of being able to stop and marvel at what goes on around him.
And herein lies my answer to my desire for stability. At any given moment, looking at Christ, I can stop and wonder and marvel at what He’s doing around me and in me, even when it seems the craziest. While this constancy looks different than what I might want, it’s God’s way of calling me back to him, back up the stream, in each and every moment.
I am, in JPII’s words, “filled with wonder” at what God is doing right now. Each crazy, ever-changing moment that passes is preparing me for what He has in store for me just around the corner. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, He’ll reveal why each of these moments transpired.
The stream, God’s creation, and life pass by us, but in the words of St. John Paul II, “Stop, this passing has meaning… has meaning… has meaning.”
St. John Paul II, pray for us!