I was asked recently by a good friend of mine after being in his wedding...
“How are you feeling?” he questioned.
“What do you mean?” I retorted.
“You’ve been in 3 weddings this year, and you have another one this weekend that you’re in, how are you feeling?”
“Well, I think I'll be weddinged out after this weekend.” I joked “I’m going to take a nap on Sunday that's for sure”
“I just ask, because I have another friend in your shoes, and, man, he’s struggling. He wants to be in the next stage of life, the one I just entered into, but it’s not even on the radar for him. And I know you, I know you want that too.” He said opened ended waiting for me to jump in.
I paused and thought.
“So how are you feeling. Or what are you feeling as you watch some your closest friends get married and enter into the next stage of life.” He continued now wanting to end the silence.
I looked at him and smiled. “I’m good. And honestly, right now all I feel is excitement.”
His brow furrowed in confusion, not expecting that answer or trying to figure out if it was a lie or not.
I continued, “I’m serious, I’m fine. And I know that doesn't sound like that could be true. And being honest, it hasn't always been that way. I struggled with what your friend is struggling with for a long while. And don’t get me wrong, the desire is still there, and I'll have times of jealousy flare up every now and then. But I learned something that has helped me through it."
“And what's that?”
“The life stage that you are in isn't the ultimate. Marriage is great, and I want that someday, but that's not what my life is about. When I find a wife, that's not when I’ll be complete.” I said.
This is a lesson I’ve been learning for the past few months. As a lot of change has happened. In the past 6 months, I’ve been in four weddings, graduated college, accepted a job, and moved to a new city. And in the confusion of newness and change, I began to look at my life and wonder “what is the ultimate in this thing? What's the reason I'm here?”
And what I found is the next stage of life isn't the ultimate. Getting the job isn't the ultimate. Finding the spouse isn't the ultimate. Insert whatever you are chasing isn't the ultimate. They do not satisfy completely. They cannot satisfy completely.
Because there is only One who can.
The old theologians would say “the ultimate” is “the chief end of man” and they would say the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
What will satisfy is He who is faithful.
And as we follow Jesus, we find out quickly that the ultimate in life looks very different than what the world says it is. Our purpose should be what His purpose was. And that purpose was to bring glory to the Father.
“For this purpose, I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
“I came that they might have life” (John 10:10).
These are truths, but not ultimate.
They serve the ultimate- the glorification of God.
So don’t waste your life on you.
We give glory to God when our lives take the backseat to helping others come to know Jesus as Savior.
It’s been a big realignment in my life for the past few months, but wow, has He been faithful to show me what my life should be about.
All that to say that’s why jealousy doesn't rule my life. Because my ultimate is not in a spouse, or job, or number on the computer screen. My ultimate is seated on high in the Heavenly Kingdom, and because of that, I can celebrate.
Letting God’s glory be the ultimate in life, frees you to be able to celebrate in others successes and achievements. (Even when they have what you want.)
Don’t get me wrong I still want a wife, and watching my friends enter into the bonds of marriage makes me more eager for when that time will come in my life. I hope the Lord gives me a wonderful wife that will help me pursue and look like Jesus more.
But even if that doesn’t happen in my life, I’m okay because my ultimate lies in Someone much much much better than any future wife could ever be.
My hope and prayer for my-now-married friends has been that their spouse helps them in their ultimate mission of glorifying God and I hope that they get to enjoy Him forever, together.
*photo from my sisters wedding