Oh John, One Day I Hope to Live Your Life

Prologue: I honestly don’t think the meaning behind this post is going to be conveyed properly. But here it goes…

Guess what I did when I was in middle school and first couple years of high school? (Remember, I never dated until I met my wife when I was 20) I was a scrawny guy who was too afraid to talk to girls and basically spent 4-5 hours a day at his computer, playing first person shooters like Unreal and Star Trek, blowing up aliens and seeing body parts fly through the screen while I listened to Britney Spears on my CD player…not kidding lol. I told that to my wife one time and she just looked at me in disbelief for a moment and then said, ‘That’s stupid Joel.’ lol.

I’ve been thinking back to that time lately and rereading John’s book Journey of Desire. And you know what, I’m reallly fallen. Not just in my thinking, or my [sometimes lack of control of my] emotions, or my motives or whatever…no I’m really fallen in how I dream. How I think. Back then, I daydreamed about flying in space ships around the universe. I daydreamed about being a warrior. I daydreamed about meeting a beautiful princess that would be mine forever and rescuing her from the bad guys. And I did, I did some of those things in a way that mimicked those realities in other ways, I’ve helped with freedom for others, I’ve loved and lived and gone to beautiful places, but then I didn’t do those things fully alive.

I was thinking back to life as a kid and a teenager and I had no idea that the freedom I had in imagination with gaming, with music, the emotions of being lifted up into another world really would haunt me for the rest of my life. I know, childish pursuits, but there is something there, a hint of something deeper that needs to be paid attention to. I was driving the other day and thought what would I feel if God just came to me and said, “Here, jump through this door and you will have the same freedom and imagination and aliveness as you did when you were a child.” Think about that for a second, what would it feel like? To just feel the utter freedom we had once as children? Even for just a few minutes. For a second, I felt the weight that I’m carrying and the relief of pressure that would bring.

It’s the “adulting.” It’s being a grownup. It’s being ingrained in the world’s economics and going through the motions to pay the bills and provide. We traded what was intended to be an epic life with God past our wildest dreams for Excel spreadsheets, cleaning the house, having a nice yard, driving a somewhat nice car, the picture perfect photos for Facebook, and perpetuating the image of how perfect our lives our to other people to boost our confidence and social status. What a joke.

Enter kids’ imaginations” My daughter spends hours each day playing with her pony dolls in their dollhouse. My son plays robots and blows up things in ways reminiscent of Star Wars. And I’m thinking about how quickly our company can refresh inventory with the supply chain from China during boosted holiday sales. Which one do you find more captivating? I’ll take my kids’ imaginations any day.

What the heck happened to us?

Is this what Adam and Eve traded it all in for? They wanted to know about good and evil. And we’re stuck with a little bit of good, a whole lot of evil, and a whole lot of boring. Seriously, this is a consequence of the fallen world. The utter banality of life at times. God didn’t intend us to live like this. Goodness, we are image bearers of God. I’ll say it again, we are image bearers of God. God lives a life alive, he is Life. And yet, we only find moments of it here, scattered about like autumn leaves in their glory for the few days that it lasts. God lives it all the time. Just as we were designed to live. Just as we will live one day in his kingdom.

Anyways, I’ve been wrestling with that contrast, from where I was, to where I operationally am in many ways. It’s silly how boring we are. We were made to be fully alive, at all times. I want to live life fully, but also dreaming of the freedom of the life eternal to come and setting my hope on it.

Romans 8:18,

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

1 Peter 1:13,

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

John’s books have really helped me with that perspective. I want to have that perspective that he does, especially when things are boring and mundane. To just keep heart and remember, the lack of life here, the dry patches, are an artifact of this fallen world. Real life, fully alive always, is coming. It’s coming soon, with Jesus.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Don’t forget that we are alive in Jesus and we have his freedom!

Joel

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19 thoughts on “Oh John, One Day I Hope to Live Your Life

  1. Amen! I want that too! I don’t want to settle for less I want to settle for God’s best! I love that Romans verse. Yes….knowing that God is working all together for the good, even the pain and suffering is a hope to cling to.

    Btw – my performance was a success! God was with me every step of the way. The night before the recital, I was awakened with a verse to the famous hymn, take my life and let it be. It was the verse that says, “take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.”
    Isn’t that just perfect?! I was nervous but the Lord was gracious with me and helped me maintain my mental focus and I performed well. My anxiety didn’t overwhelm me. I am so thankful and the Lord is helping me keep my focus in the right place. Love. That’s the focus. Play from love.
    Now today is all my students recital – I’m a little nervous but in a good way. I’m turning it into love and thankfulness!

    Thanks for prayer and encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It went great! I did get anxiety a bit but not because of the usual reasons, because the piano bench was so small, as I was playing a duet with a stocky student, I was holding my behind on the bench for dear life, and I nearly had to twist my leg into a pretzel to get it over to the pedal. My foot was shaking on the pedal uncontrollably because my muscles were tense trying not to fall off! Lol! That is going down in the books of hilarious stories!
        Next time I’m bringing my own piano bench. Haha!
        All in all it went great! People were saying it was the best recital yet!
        Glory to God!

        Merry Christmas!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha! Oh no, I can just imagine that! But so glad it went it great!! It’s not fun when you’re trying to do something, especially something that requires all of your attention, and you’re in extremely uncomfortable seating arrangements. Hey I’d be anxious over the bench as well! Glory to God though! So happy it went well.

        Hey Johanna, what level do you teach again? High school, college?

        Merry Christmas to you and your family too!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I teach private lessons of all ages and from beginning to late intermediate. My youngest is 4 and my oldest is in his 60s.
        I myself am an advanced player. I am furthering my education as well. Gotta keep up! Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s really cool!! I bet it’s fun too! Great wide age spectrum too. Do you primarily do piano and vocal lessons?

        I can’t stop learning myself. First it was math, then programming, now it’s languages…I just have to be learning constantly it seems. So I hear ya on the furthering the education part! 😉

        Like

    1. Yes, if only I’d know! In a lot of ways, the activities I engage in are a cog in the economic machinery. But, it’s absolutely not my identity!

      Just emailed you after wiping the tears away, I finished the manuscript, loved it. Fantastic stuff Jeff. We can discuss more on email. Thank you for giving me the honor to read it, great stuff! You are a skilled writer brother!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Jeff! I really enjoyed it! You’re a really good writer. Are you working on anything new? Thank you, hopefully I’ll get a ms over to you by summer. That’s my initial goal!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have an idea for a murder mystery featuring Gloria Perretti from The Tupperware. Wish I had more time to actually work on it! She was my favorite character to write. She went all “Mickey Spillane” on me! She was a hoot!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Due to technical difficulties beyond my control…” Etc. You know, once I’ve read your manuscript, I think it’d be a hoot to get on the phone and really talk shop instead of these short blurbs or email!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’d be great! I really would like to get this new manuscript published. I’ve written a couple without success. I kinda feel some momentum spiritually going into this new work, so maybe, just maybe, it will click. Love to discuss it and get the future kinks out!

        Liked by 2 people

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