Decision: I'm going to ACL every year until I die. I will even leave the nursing home to attend this weekend of music. (Supervised, of course.) It was perfect. The experience, the bands, the food, the weather, everything. But I definitely enjoyed my company the most. Many memories and many laughs. Huge reminder of how much I can't wait to move back to Austin. That place is the bomb. I think I like it so much because no matter what, there's always someone weirder than you. It's quite liberating. Just ask my Vampire Weekend, Muse, and Switchfoot dance moves.
So, I'm not gonna lie, guys. I think this is going to be a heavy post. I've just had so much in my head and heart lately. Have you ever just come to a point of peace and realization so freakin' sweet that it makes your insides joyful? Like, a realization so strong that you can't wait for the end of that enlightening solo road trip so that you can start living the thought. This happens to me frequently on a more shallow basis most of the time. You know...like that summer I became a vegetarian, or that one time in college I decided to get a perm. Ok, maybe these are terrible, hasty examples. I promise that the latest moment in the car was better than these, even if it is hard to imagine.
Starting from the beginning...basically, I'd been considering the verse in Matthew 6: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." It just really stood out one day. So much so, it became a Facebook status. I know, right? Big time. Well, around the same time I came across this, I was jamming to Mumford & Sons' "Awake My Soul." In the song, they so beautifully sing, "In this body you will live. In this body, you will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life."
"Hmm," I thought. "I wonder if they love Jesus. It certainly seems to surround the concept of that verse I read the other day. Treasures. I should consider this." So, I kinda did. Then, I kinda didn't.
Not even kidding, maybe the next day, I read a C.S. Lewis quote. "Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind."
What the...? Another something about earthly treasures? It was about this time I felt God was trying to tell me something. So...I prayed about it. "Lord...what do you want me to gain here? What are you asking me to think upon? Speak to my heart, and help me to listen. And please make rainbows actually rain Skittles. Amen."
Right away, God told me to shut up and sit down. I don't think He said it quite like THAT, but I did feel that I needed to slow down from the daily toil and take time for what He was obviously asking me to see. From this, I felt the strongest urge to write--to simply sit down with my journal and make a list of the things I treasure. What's important to me? What do I believe? What do I compromise? And most importantly, where is God in all of this?
And so, I started thinking about my worldly treasures. Music, travel, relationships, the Internet (yeah..lame, you say. But think about how pissy you get when your Net is down and then say something.), goals, stories (books/movies), art, landscapes, my nieces, opportunity...
Welp, that was easy. Conclusion: I like the world, pretty things, and I want to stay here as long as I can. I love Jesus, too. The end.
So...here's where the car comes in. I was doing what I do: jamming. The album of choice was Jon Foreman's "Limbs and Branches". Well...a lyric in one of his songs says:
"Friend, all along I thought I was learning how to take. How to bend, not how to break. How to live, not how to cry. But really I've been learning how to die."
Dang, right? My thoughts, exactly. At this moment, it all came together for me. Everything I'd been considering. Everything I'd been trying to figure out. The something I wanted to learn from all that God was making me notice.
In everything I heard/read, I was reminded that Heaven is awaiting me. Nothing on this earth--not a problem, not a love, not a fear, not a moment, nothing--matters in comparison to eternity. Nothing I've touched, nothing I've done, nothing I didn't do, nothing on my list of TO-do can come with me. My treasures are simply illusions in this temporary home that God is using to mold me. To make me. To prepare me for His Kingdom. The treasures I had previously listed--my interests, my passions, my relationships, my struggles, my opportunities, my time--are all part of the process. They all shape my heart and play a role in who I am becoming. The reason this is such a big deal to me is because I realized suddenly that in all of this crap, God too often takes a back seat, and it's really not cool. What am I loving most, even on earth? Am I sure it's Jesus? And if I am, could anyone tell? Where is my heart and where am I investing my life? Is it in on things above? What am I doing that is glorifying God? Basically...I'm not satisfied with the answers to my questions. I've got to put the Lord before all of the junk. I'm leaving it all behind anyway. I want to serve. I want to spend time on earth that resounds in eternity. I want to think about souls and hearts, not schedules and possessions. I want my heart to already be in Heaven. I want to be fearless.
And so, I leave you challenged. And I leave you with the utmost hope that I'm able to put away what's unnecessary and live simpler with Christ. To love what God loves. To invest my heart where the Lord invests His. To make myself uncomfortable and less reliant on what I treasure.
Yeah, all of that in 2 weeks and 120 miles. I'm still not sure of the rest. I don't know if I know what this looks like yet. But I'm still listening and if nothing else, that's where my heart is now. Which is so much better than Pitchfork.com. Love. :)