Every once in a while it hits me all of the sudden like, “Hey! Didn’t I used to blog sometimes?” And then I pop back on and pretend I’ve been here all along.
I was chatting with friends the other day about Pinterest, and there’s one thing that just keeps on bothering me about it. Now (BIG) disclaimer here. I have a Pinterest account that is a little bit like my garden right now. Sorely neglected. I have no problem with Pinterest in the abstract. I find it occasionally handy. But there is a problem with it too – or at least a temptation to be aware of. So this is not a comment on whether or not you should ever look at Pinterest. It is just a few things that I have noticed and thought I would share.
Discontent is often not about one specific thing. It is about your identity. It isn’t really just, “Oh I would love to have that,” but a lot more of “Oh, I would love to be that kind of person who has that.” In this way, it is easy to use Pinterest as a little costume. By pinning things that are like the person that we wish we were, we sort of tell ourselves and maybe other people that we are that person, deep down inside. Just look at the boards. It will show you clearly what an awesome aesthetic I have. It will show you how beautiful my food is. It will show you who I wish I was.
I have nothing against setting goals or aiming higher. The problem that I am wanting to point out is thinking that we have become something or done something or known something that we actually only clicked on. Letting Pinterest become a sort of fantasy world of yourself as a 50’s housewife, a world traveler, model, a fashion designer, a fitness guru, or DIY superstar can be unhealthy. It is a different kind of romance novel for women. It is a world to lose yourself in that does not actually connect with reality as much as it pretends to.
But your identity is actually around you, not through the magic mirror computer screen. You are a daughter of the King and the things that He has chosen for your life are perfect for you. Embracing the identity and situation that God has given you is a powerful step toward both contentment and progress. It’s an old but true saying, “Bloom where you are planted.”
Today I saw a bumper sticker that said, “I’d rather be here now.” This is a profoundly Christian sentiment. While the truth may be that you love fishing, or running, or whatever your bumper says you’d rather be doing – here and now is what you should rather be doing. Because here and now is what God gave you. It is like we are guests at God’s table wearing big stickers on our heads that say, “I’d rather have pasta” and “I’d rather be eating cheese, but here I am again with the bread and the wine.”
God has given you a tremendous gift. He has chosen your life for you. He has chosen the lessons that He wants you to master. He has chosen your hardships, your headaches, your health problems, your children, your husband, your house. Let the things that God has chosen for you be the things that you willingly pin. Things that you say, “Yes! This is my style!”
Today is a day when I would have pinned a beautiful embroidery project for me. God pinned my children at the table with scissors and sticky hands. He pinned Shadrach eating a bran muffin in the same way a weed-eater would have. He pinned a weird smell in the laundry and a mishap in the bathroom. I would have pinned some nice Japanese lunch boxes. But lo, God chose me up bruised bananas following a desperate Arby’s drive-through. I would have pinned onto today a beautiful menu display board for my dining room. God chose no time to get to the grocery store. I would have pinned beautifully tailored clothing and expensive shoes. God pinned a muffin top. When God pins things onto our life, it isn’t a joke either. We can pin all kinds of things that we have no intention of following through on. Here’s a cool project. That looks good. Interesting tutorial. When God pins things on our life, they are things that we must do. This isn’t a tutorial for never anymore. This is God working you through lessons He wants you to learn in real time.
But does all this mean that God chooses ugly and I chose beauty? Of course not. God did not give me a perfect life, because He has given me a life that He is using to perfect me. When we get all caught up in things we wish we were given, we are losing sight of what the whole point of our life should be. As the Westminster catechism so beautifully puts it, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
This is why, no matter our circumstances, no matter our troubles, if we are glorifying God with our obedience, with our hope in Him, with our hearts disposed to gratitude, to forgiveness, to growth – then we will truly be enjoying God. We can then truly say – “See my life. See where I am. See what I struggle with, what I am not getting done, what I have fallen behind on. See all this! This is me. And there is nowhere else I would rather be.”