Last night I was Skyping my parents and telling them about the past week. Since I’ve gotten back to campus, I’ve been struggling with a lingering cough. My dad asked whether the glamour has worn off now that I’m sick at college. I kind of laughed at his question and said that life was still pretty great (it had been a good day). But I ended up contemplating his question the rest of the day, through the night, and into today. Has the glamour worn off?
There have been plenty of unglamorous moments: walking so fast to class that my shins hurt, tripping over the uneven bricks, and arriving to class late and sweaty. Then there’s been the whole mice issue, when I felt like an irritated middle-aged man having to deal with real life problems. There was the night I was up for a half hour coughing. The moment I misplaced my notebook with every single note from every single class. The time I spilled passion fruit tea all over my white shirt while in the library. The time the clementine bag ripped, spilling clementines all over the floor, perfectly illustrating how I currently felt about my life. And then there are all the days I come back to the dorm, frustrated with how I couldn’t think of what to say to that cute guy in my class.
Yes, there are plenty of unglamorous moments.
Why do I tell you all of those stories? Because I don’t want you for a second to think that my life is simple or organized or perfect. I realized that most of my blog posts so far have been telling you about the good moments—the moments I’ve learned to “be.” I’ve spent a lot of time writing about being positive, content, and thankful. Those things are so important and are so essential to the Christian lifestyle. But I don’t want to give the misconception that life is supposed to always be put together or that we need to always show others our good side.
Part of “being” is being real. There have been so many times that people have commented on how perfect my roommate and I are or assumed that I have my assignments and social life all together. Oh how I wish that they could see some of the unglamorous moments (well, maybe not all of them).
I think that doing this 31-day writing challenge can give the impression that my life is organized and balanced. Just because I’ve been able to write every day for twenty days doesn’t mean for a second that it has been easy. There have been many nights that I sit down, exhausted, with absolutely no inspiration. And somehow God gives me the grace and energy I need to write. In the unglamorous moments, He works through me.
That’s what the Christian lifestyle is all about. It is about allowing God to work through us. We are imperfect beings that have a Savior who cares.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV)
Amen, amen, amen. We have a high priest who understands. He may have been perfect, but his life wasn’t. He was hot, tired, and sweaty. He was tempted. He was criticized.
Jesus lived the unglamorous moments.
Sometimes I don’t want to go to God about my little problems. Sometimes my simple requests and unglamorous moments seem too silly to share with the Creator of the universe. But He was human. I can approach His throne with confidence, knowing that He is full of mercy and grace. He gets me.
Be unglamorous. God doesn’t ask us to be full of good cheer all the time. I don’t have to have it all together. I don’t have to pretend I have a perfect life. I can be real.
Jesus was real. He was unglamorous. But He also changed the lives around Him. Life isn’t about always being happy, but it is about being hopeful (more on that tomorrow).
– – Phebe