The 90 percent
Most of life is filled with uneventful, totally boring times. Make the most of them!
In this age of social media, everyone posts about the cool things they are doing, cool places they are going to, and even cool things they are eating. All we get is a 140 character blurb, 15 second video, or a filtered, perfectly angled, amazing looking snapshot. But when all we see are images or stories or videos of all-too-perfect and exciting lives, how does that make us feel? Boring. It makes us feel boring. It can even make us feel like we’re missing out or something is wrong with us. We are told to live out our dreams, and we have adopted “You Only Live Once” as the slogan of our generation. What we haven’t been told is that a life with purpose and the road to our dreams is very, very plain.
Don’t get me wrong, exciting times and dreams coming true are not a problem, especially when we are fulfilling our God-given dreams. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans that he has for us, which are plans to prosper, not harm us, and to give us a future and a hope (that certainly doesn’t sound boring at all). What we often fail to realize is that those moments of fun, excitement, and dream-come-true bliss are just that: moments. 5% of our life. 10% if we are lucky. The rest of the life is going to be unexciting, uneventful, routine, and “boring”, usually filled with hard work and mundane times. 90% of life is plain, normal, and uneventful.
But guess what: that is exciting. If we are intentional, those “boring” times are actually shaping us for those times we get to experience our most memorable and exciting moments.
For a purpose
I know you are probably tired of hearing this, but everything really does happen for a reason. Even in the day-to-day activities. Take school for example. Besides hanging with friends and the occasional special events, going to school every day is very plain. But school is a part of your story. What you learn, the experiences you have, and the lives you touch there will one day become a big part in God fulfilling your dreams.
Waking up early to get to school is teaching you responsibility. Going through challenges in friendship builds grace and compassion. Overcoming hard times of doubt, loneliness, and low self-confidence is building you into a great person full of strength, joy, and empathy. Even “boring” things such as learning to work hard on your studies teaches you diligence and going to sports practice instead of a birthday party teaches you sacrifice. All these things little things in life that seem uneventful or even painful are actually little puzzle pieces to your life and story. Think of it this way: God is making who you are today into who you are in the future, and that is pretty cool.
With today’s pop culture and social media, it can make us feel like our life is inadequate. Do not fall into the trap of comparison! Even the images we see on Instagram are only the 5% moments of someone else’s life. While God can use our everyday lives to lead to extraordinary things, he also looks for hearts focused on him. It is important that in our day-to-day lives, we remain intentional. When we start to feel that twinge that we aren’t living a cool enough life, refocus on God. Give your best in the boring, knowing it is shaping your future.
So give your all to your school, give your all to your chores, give your all to your practice, and give your all to your Bible study. One day, in those moments when your dreams do come true, you will look back and see how every little thing was connected. Faithfulness to a faithful God and living on purpose even in the uneventful times will all make sense. One of the most helpful verses to remember is this: “So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up” (Galatians 6:9).
What are you going to do with the 90% of your life?