My junior year of college was amazing in many ways. I lived in a great dorm with incredible friends. It felt like I was hitting the peak of the college experience. But, there was one area I was falling behind: dating.
All of my close friends were dating. I don’t say that to be dramatic. Literally every one of my close friends was in a serious relationship for most of the year- except me.
As evidence, here are a few snippets of my journal that year:
- 4.4.02 I think I am literally the last single junior guy. I can’t think of another single Christian guy.
- 4.5.02 (Another friend starts dating) So now I really feel like the only non-dating person I know… It can just be hard sometimes.
- 4.7.02 Lord, I think the true issue comes down to the fact that I do want a girlfriend.
And then on 4.14.02 something happened that changed how I thought about my singleness forever.
I was walking along the familiar red brick path towards the school’s casual dining hall. As I approached the building I noticed a friend and walked up to say hi. I noticed he had his eyes trained on something down below the path, near a stream. I followed his eyes to discover a small rabbit, lazily lying by the water without a care in the world.
Maybe it was the fact that college students don’t get out much. My whole world comprised of the square-mile campus on which I lived. But I stood there, somehow entranced by this sight.
A thought then occurred to me, “This is definitely the kind of thing I’ll enjoy watching one day once I get married.” This was not an uncommon thought to go through my head. But, on this day, something else happened.
I felt like God gently whispered, “Why are you waiting?” I immediately wondered why I was waiting to fully enjoy and appreciate the world’s beauty. It was as if I was holding back on life itself, believing certain things could only be enjoyed completely– with another. My mind quickly came up with other items I was waiting to one day enjoy with my wife: plays, music, really all the beauty of the world.
As I contemplated why I felt this way, an epiphany suddenly flourished and filled me until something deep within dislodged and dropped like dead weight. Why not fully enjoy life now? What if I stopped waiting to fully enjoy beauty? What if I didn’t need a girlfriend to feel complete or full? Somehow I was suddenly seeing the world in a whole new way. My mind raced as I felt free, like a bird taking flight for the first time, feeling the cool breeze high amongst the clouds.
Similar to how Jimmy Stewart ran around town at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, relishing the small joys of his existence, I wanted to run around campus yelling, “You don’t have to date to be happy! You can be happy now!” But, I decided against doing this due to the fact that people would quickly conclude I was crazy. So, I went back to my room and wrote it all out in my journal to share it with you now.
What are you waiting for, to fully enjoy life? Maybe you’re single and waiting to one day meet that special man or woman. Or, maybe you have small children and are waiting until they move out, or you make enough money, or retire. Maybe you’re just waiting for your most recent stress storm to pass, secretly knowing a new one is following right behind.
What would happen is you stopped waiting? If you feel like you’re holding back, waiting for one day, what if you started living now? You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend/retirement to be happy.
Set a goal, try something new, plan a trip, start a hobby, go see a movie, visit that museum, exercise, try a new restaurant- live your life to the fullest now.
Thanks for reading. I love having the opportunity to process life and share.