[Estimated reading time: 3m13s]

I can hardly articulate what’s happened in my life since I wrote here last.

It’s gone by quickly enough that a lesser version of me wouldn’t notice.

But the version of myself I became in the fall of 2018 noticed every single ingredient on the plate. I savored because I’d genuinely forgotten how to rush. I remember it even less now.

I don’t know how to not notice all the goodness around me.

When you’ve lived in the desert, you fantasize about every square foot you hope to someday inhabit.

And when it starts to happen, you notice every square inch. You rub your hand over every ounce of stitching in the carpet.

You know what ungrateful means, but you’ve forgotten what it smells like.

And you’re okay with it. You’re smelling every other ingredient on the plate.

You used to beg to be heard. Now you wait to be asked.

You’d dream and try to flesh out every possible idea—now the best ones are lines of dialogue you hear actors embody and deliver emphatically.

You’ve watched people cry after hearing words you wrote.

They clap.

Their mouths open as their jaws drop.

And you leave the room without waiting for them to see you or tell you how great you are.

You’re actually just happy for them because you know they’re experiencing what you did when you wrote it. The joy of familiar themes clicking in a new way. Fresh.

You love God. Like, you actually love Him. You actually believe his way is best and you’re disappointed by the notion of doing anything else because you know it won’t work out.

Your repentance is genuine. You don’t even consider repenting for the sake of what people might think orrrrrrrrrr that awful version of diet-repentance that’s solely occurring out of hope that God won’t delay your destiny aka your rich-and-famous et ceteras.

How’d this happen?

You’re happy even when you’re sad. You’re content even when you’re angry. You’re obedient even when you feel rebellious.

I remember going through a very different time.

I wrote my current self a letter back in May of 2017.

Listen to what that guy said:

“Don’t you dare forget that there was a day where it was just you and God alone in the car, not talking, but sitting in silence because you didn’t want to talk to him and couldn’t continue existing if he got out.”

Or this

“without God, I fall apart. With God, I’m torn apart.”

Whoa there, younger Arv. Easy now, you’re sounding rather profound there.

All I’m saying here is that it was all beyond worth it. Everything you did in that season to endure was beyond worth what you get to experience now—even in your day-to-day state of being.

Your former self wouldn’t understand this, but boy he would definitely think he did. And that’s good and well—good for him, actually.

But I can’t describe to you what it feels like to have lived decades inside a bubble convinced you had a disease called CHRISTIANITY that forced you to stay safe in the bubble ONLY TO REALIZE that on the outside of that bubble, the CHRISTIANITY you thought was your handicap was actually your biggest advantage and your deepest joy.

Christians used to distinguish themselves by the music and movies they didn’t listen to and the cigarettes they didn’t smoke—but the more I walk around and observe people, the more I realize what sets me apart is something no more complicated than peace. The lack of stress. The inability to be bothered.

I don’t know if you can hear me and the point I’m trying to make when I say this. You see, I thought unbothered and unworried people were dumb. I thought you had to be low-IQ/low-EQ to not get furious over whatever lot you did/didn’t have in life. But, and I hope you understand what I’m trying to say: But…I’m smart. The kind of smart that tends to be a disadvantage. I’ve lived fully capable and indoctrinated in misappropriating my genius IQ to misinterpret others intentionally and imagine scenarios so devastating they leave me with real hatred and fear.

And now, most of the time, my imagination enjoys dreaming up new concoctions of service I can provide others because…(Oh, my, really? I’m saying this?)…because I’m…I’m good?

I slowed down to the pace of what God was doing in my life.

I focused on it so much, I forgot how to rush.

It was worth every minute.

10/10. Would Recommend.

Do Recommend. Am Recommending.

You Can't Predict Hindsight