Friday, December 25, 2009


Being home for the holidays is weird. Don't get me wrong—it's awesome and I love it, but it's really strange to pause my life at college and spend a month in the house I grew up in hanging out with the friends I used to spend every day with. Seriously—nostalgia overload. As cliché as it is, there are reminders of the "good ol' days" everywhere and I can't help but think back over how much my life has changed since I started college. I'm tempted to get really sad over how complicated my life feels right now and to dwell on how easy the world was when I was in the 10th grade and the only things I was worried about were making the school musical (which was Seussical the Musical that year), deciding whether to sneak off campus for lunch (I promise I never did), and telling as many people as I could that Coach Little listens to showtunes (it's true).

But then I think about all of the things I know now about life and God and relationships and sin and... well, lots of other things and I realize that while the "good ol' days" of high school were simple and fun and beautiful, I'm glad that I'm growing up. Things might feel messy sometimes, but I'm learning a lot. Really, a lot. Serious growing pains. I wouldn't be surprised if my brain had whatever the inner organ equivalent of stretch marks are.

And now I'm tempted to explain how and why I've grown so much; to try and justify my life and the choices I've made by going into great detail about what it is that makes me do what I do. Sometimes that's appropriate, but lately I've been thinking about when it's more appropriate to simply hold my tongue (or in this case, my fingers). We've all grown up hearing that "honesty is the best policy" and if you grew up going to Sunday school, you might be familiar with a little song about liars ("Revelation, Revelation, 21:8, 21:8..." you know the rest), but is there a point where we can become too honest?

I often feel the need to explain myself because I worry that if I don't, everyone who isn't "in" on the way I reason through whatever I do will wrongly assume the worst of me. Make sense? Well, that's how my mind works. If I think someone is angry at me, I immediately go to them and explain what I'm feeling about the situation. If I'm doing poorly in a class, I email my teacher and explain why I haven't been able to focus. If I'm having a bad day and someone asks me how I'm doing, I explain, "Well, not very good." You get the idea; I like explaining things. It's like I'm constantly sending out this explanation to the world: "I promise I'm normal! Please understand me! Accept me, accept me!"

But I'm just being honest.

I don't think it's a good honest, though. It's an honesty lacking simplicity and faith. After all of my explaining I'm left feeling like I do when I o.d. on junk food—nauseatingly full but still unsatisfied. I spend so much time agonizing over what I need to say to get people to understand me, I lose faith that God is going to communicate whatever he wants to through the words I speak.

How awesome is that?
The pressure's off.
I don't always have to explain myself.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 10:19
Yes, I need to be truthful, but it's pointless for me to worry about whether people understand who I am or what I do. I'm here to glorify God, and all that explaining—it takes away from His glory and puts the spotlight on me. I have to trust Him to take care of everything.
It seems so simple, but if I'm following Jesus as closely as I can, I won't need to explain myself. Jesus hardly ever offered explanations for the things He did and still managed to become "irrevocably the very center of history."

I'm done explaining to others what's going on in my life; it's time to look upward and outward.

Oh, and merry Christmas. :)