In 2009 I graduated from a small Christian University in Nashville Tennessee. The world at my fingertips, a bachelor’s degree in my pocket and a road to success that was waiting to be found. My worldview was wrapped up in a business culture of money, cars, houses, entrepreneurship and climbing a corporate ladder to get there.
My long lost destination was found as I sat at a desk for 40 hours a week in a ‘9 to 5 job’. This all equalled a lost and hope torn boy trying to survive. Thriving or living life to the full was a far-off dream that seemed impossible to find.
As I walked in from a long day on the job and climbed the stairs to my room, what I found was a room filled with clutter. I had clothes strewn about, a chair in front of a desk that hadn’t been cleaned in months and a brand-new TV sitting on the floor instead of on the dresser where my old 20 inch TV sat. My arms were full of stuff that I didn’t know where to put, so I would just throw it where there may be a clear spot on the already muddled floor.
Does your bedroom resemble your mindset?
One day it struck me: my room resembled my state of being. It had no structure, no plan of getting cleaned, an endless abyss of stuff, bad thoughts with worse memories. It was dark and a place I didn’t want to be. I continued to carry an armful of stuff and just throw it somewhere, hoping that it would magically disappear.
The worst part was that I thought I was living. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do. My mindset was to work, make money and ignore everything else. As long as I was having fun on my weekends everything else slipped into the background. Perhaps I just wanted to forget everything else, because it was too difficult to face.
Wasn’t giving me life
What I did in my free time was defining my life, but it wasn’t giving me life.
I always thought that what people did with their free time defined them. Often, in the culture I live in, the first question I receive from a new acquaintance is: ‘What do you do’. As in: ‘your job defines who you are.’ The answer to that question will somehow put you into a category or ranking system in people’s minds. But what you do in your time outside of your job, will tell me who you are much more than your job title.
I wasn’t living life to the full, I was trading ‘fun’ moments with true satisfaction.
Real satisfaction comes when we start to look inwards and allow the God who created us to work on us. It happens when we get into a community that loves us, sometimes more than we love ourselves.
When we start giving more to others than we feel we need to receive; when we are stretched, put outside our comfort zones, going for things that seem impossible to achieve, starting something new and inviting God into all of it – then we find life.
What I didn’t know was that the walls I put up in my life and the walls that were keeping out all the hurt and pain in my life, were the same walls that kept me from living.
I couldn’t be vulnerable or go outside my comfort zone, because that opened me up to agony and worry. The last three years I got outside those walls. If you’re following my articles, I will be writing about my wanderlust in my next article. My crazy experiences and wonderful full life that God has led me into.
Jason LaLone was on staff at YWAM Brisbane and is currently in America working with Truro Anglican Church located in Fairfax, Virginia. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus’ command to make disciples a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Mondays, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone’s previous articles might be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Jason-LaLone.html