I Don’t Want to be a Wanderer.

I Don’t Want to be a Wanderer.

I’ll happily admit it – I am the epitome of the hipster, basic white girl on Instagram. I love running the I Am Project Instagram, and I also work a couple of freelance jobs as a social media assistant – I am known (read: mocked) among my friends as the Instagram queen. But with that social media hipsterness, comes this image of what we think our lives should look like: influenced strongly by the teen movies where they go on road trips and discover themselves – the social media world says that my life should look like an adventure – that we should be climbing mountains and driving fast with the roof down and swimming in lakes, drinking lots of Starbucks along the way.

Image result for the perks of being a wallflower car

I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower as much as the next person, and if you had asked me a couple of years ago, this would have been the ideal life. I have been, from a pretty young age, fiercely independent – I grew up loving this idea of being the girl who could hop around the country, not really committing to anyone or anything – getting by and being free.

And then something radical happened: God put me in a family. He gave me a home that was mine to belong in, and people to love, and things to do with my life. He put me in a place that I would grow to love, with a purpose that meant that things would be different if I wasn’t here. He showed me just how much I was loved, and needed, and the impact that my presence makes to the people that He has given me to care for.

In the Bible there’s a man called Enoch, who comes up in the family tree from Adam to Noah: it’s this long list of names that details how long each person lived for, who their first kid was and how old they were when they died – it gets a bit repetitive and it’s a passage that we would tend to just skip over. Each name goes through the exact same pattern of information, except for Enoch. This is what it says about Enoch:

“Enoch walked faithfully with God; and then he was no more, because God took him away” Genesis 5:24 NIV

Death is one of those things that we can find really difficult to talk about, and even harder to explain: when I read this, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up with the words God took him away, and I realized that this was something that I needed to get straight in my head. I had an aversion to the idea that God takes people away and causes them to die – and yet that is what it says here.

Firstly, I don’t think we can confuse this with the idea that God takes people away because He misses them so much and He needs them up in heaven – an idea that is often shared around children passing away, but that might not quite be right. Enoch had a long life, and the verse said that he walked faithfully with God – God was so present in his life on earth. This is the most important thing: there wasn’t any need here to hear about what Enoch did, or who he influenced, or how he lived – the fact that he lived faithfully with God was enough.

And yet, he walked with God – it’s the familiar idea that life is a journey, progressing towards a goal: when we walk with God, the natural next step to that journey is to step into an eternity of hanging out with the Father, who we love. McLaren, a theologian, says it like this: “God, with whom he walked, put out his hand and took him himself. Of course. What other end could there be to a life that was all passed in communion with God except the crown of it all – the lifting of a man into closer communion with his Father and his Friend?”

That is – God, who was his best friend, was with him for the whole of his life – and then when the time came, he put out his hand and lifted him up into an eternity with His best friend.

To me, this is the dream – when it is my time for my life to end, I would be so happy for this to be my story: “she walked faithfully with God; and then she was no more, because God took her away”. I want to spend my life here walking closely with him, so that eternity is just stepping into an eternity with my best friend. And for me, I cannot hold this alongside the idea of being a wanderer, independent from God and from people. I do not want to be independent – I want to need people, to have my home, to walk right next to my God. I want to be present in the family that He has put me in.

I would take that over the road trips and the mountaintops and the Starbucks coffee, any day.

 

 

 

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