It's kind of a letter I needed to write myself. Something that's on my mind that I constantly think about without ever...well...thinking about it. Something that's a lot easier to start with a "dear Jenn" and a lot harder to continue with.
When your life is too busy for God, it is too busy. Don't make out like you don't have time to set aside for God. He doesn't want to be a part of your time. He wants to be in all of your time. He wants to be with you at 5:30am when you really hate yourself for staying up so late. He wants to be with you when you're this close to falling asleep driving. He wants to be with you in class while you're diligently taking notes, or having a group discussion, or taking an exam, or (let's be honest) trying not to fall asleep, or trying to avoid that guy that's creeping on you. He wants to be with you sitting on campus on your computer while you browse facebook when you're supposed to be doing homework. He wants to be with you when you finally find time to grab a bite to eat. He wants to be with you when you're out snapping photos, for an assignment or for fun. He wants to be with you when you're at play rehearsal dancing or chatting or rolling your eyes at someone or doing homework or bored to tears. He wants to be with you when you find another classmate that's as obsessed with Les Mis as you are. He wants to be with you when you're up all hours doing French homework or finishing that project or talking on facebook way too late when you just know you're going to hate yourself at 5:30am the next morning again.
You're not going to be happy without him. Sure, you may have a great day. But I mean, ultimately happy. Truly purely genuinely surpassingly happy. It doesn't happen without him.
It doesn't happen because you know cool people, or do cool things, or go cool places. It doesn't happen because people think you're cool either. Don't--please don't--find your affirmation in people liking you. It's easy, I know. But what does it mean if you're focusing on finding fulfillment in the fact that she made a point to hang out with you or that he gave you a hug or that was the first time (or the last time) she called you her best friend? What does it mean if it makes your day when someone talks to you or compliments you or tells me they love you? What does it mean if you end up going to that person or those people first, before you go to God?
It means your priorities need to be screwed on straight.
You're not going to find fulfillment in any of that. It feels good. Yes. Yes it does. And hugs and talking and love--I'm pretty sure God thinks those are really great things. But as much as it hurts to say, it's possible to have too much of a good thing. When it becomes an idol. When it usurps the number one place in your heart that Jesus wants so desperately to fill, if only you'd let him.
When something really sad happens, and the only thing you can think of is how you need to talk to someone to get support or comfort, that's great, but shouldn't you go to God first? When something really happy happens and the first thing that pops into mind is that you really can't wait to show or tell everyone, even if it's something about how great God is, isn't that a bit hypocritical? Isn't that a little bit like lip service, talking about it, but not actually talking to God about it? Shouldn't presenting it to him be first on your mind?
Shouldn't thinking about how much Jesus loves you be the first thing to make you smile every morning and the last thing to make you smile every night, and the biggest thing to make you smile all the rest of the day?
Dear Jenn. Dear Jenn and anyone else who maybe just needs to straight-up look themselves in a mirror and hear this too.
Don't put above him your need to look good in front of people, to make sure people are happy, to make sure you preserve your image. Don't put above him you feeling happy, or accepted, or loved, or important, or especially, comfortable. Don't put above him your school, or your work, or your hobbies, or your social life. And don't put anyone--anyone--above the mind-blowing privilege you have of having a relationship with the God of the universe and the fact that he wants that with you no matter what.
Dear Jenn. Dear world.
Don't forget what Jesus did for you. Don't get too busy to remember. To talk to him. To let him be your everything.