A Pilgrim’s Progress

PS: Not sure why I never posted this. I probably wrote a draft and then forgot to post it. This has been sitting in my draft for 2 years now.

Read the transcript of an interview here, between a 22-year-old Glory and her 27-year-old self.

22: How was university life for you?

27: It was thriving with joy; I learned so much from every experience I had.

But the four years of happiness ended now, and a future of uncertainty embraced me. What am I gonna do with my life? What am I gonna be? I didn’t really experience identity crisis as a teenager; I definitely experienced it after graduating from university.

Fast forward to five years later. Which is now.

I still don’t have all the answers (sorry). At 27, I’m single, employed by my parents, an assistant at the church, and a hardly-quarter-time graphic designer. I understand this life I have is not ideal for many people, but I’m completely happy and satisfied. Having said that, I believe I’ll still have more to come. After experiencing many things in 5 short years, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

As I said, I don’t have all the answers. Nonetheless, let me share the things I’ve learned along the years. I had questions, God provided answers. My life is a testimony of His faithfulness.

Q. What will my future be?
A. What are you going to do now?

If I have to name one most important thing I’ve learned, I’d say it is to live in the present. I have hopes for my future; and rightly so, because my future is secure in the Lord. But what I do now really counts. It is a common escape for children of wealthy parents to pursue graduate studies simply because they don’t know what to do with their lives. Grad study is an investment; you have to consider the benefits of pursuing it. If there’s none, why would you waste your time? Remember, you’re on your 20s now.

“Then what do I do?” Good question. Go get a job. Don’t be idle; start making money. If you have a girlfriend/boyfriend, of course you should start planning for marriage.

Q. What if my current job is not my dream job?
A. Do it anyway.

With the exception the job is illegal or there’s a moral consideration, stick with it. The first three months are the hardest; don’t quit just because you feel like it.

Q. I can’t stop worrying about my future.
A. Read the answer below.

Earlier this year, I lost two of my friends. One of them was 28, the other was 27. They were young, and at the prime of their lives. I’m 27 now (talking about the 27 Club). It’s safe to say that it is still not clear whether I will have another day to live, or if this will be the last day of my life. Death has never felt so real as when you see the sting on your friends.

Our Lord posed a rhetoric: “Can worry make you live longer?”

Good Lord has said it best.

Q. Why am I so anxious about my life?
A. Because you don’t belong to this world.

It is not for no reason that the title of this post is “A Pilgrim’s Progress”. You won’t reach an age when you finally feel that everything’s perfectly perfect. Not if your real residence is heavenbound. It is normal to be confused. It is human to want security for your life. Because God has planted eternity in your heart, nothing in this temporary world will satisfy you.

“Look up,” said apostle Paul. Well, he literally said, “Set your eyes on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” The best way to look at this life is as an opportunity to serve the Lord. Remember Carrie Underwood’s song: “This is my temporary home, it’s not where I belong.”

Q. Money isn’t everything.
A. No. But those who have it can do many things.

I’m not that kind of a dreamer, so you dreamers might find my principle disappointing. I think it’s important to make money – I mean a lot of money. Money makes it possible for you to browse the web and find this post. Money makes it possible for me to fulfill my longtime wish to support missionary work. I envied those rich people who could take Rp 100.000,- bills out from their wallet and put them into the offerings at church. I wanted to be able to do that. Unless I don’t have to worry about money, that wouldn’t be possible.

Endnote
Now I’m 29, in a relationship (which means I have to seriously think about another giant phase in my life which is marriage – my goodness!), still working for my parents, working at church too. And I might be doing more interviews with my younger self. I’m happy I still agree with my 27-year-old self (despite the gloomy tone of the interview) and I’m glad I don’t regret anything. Walk hand in hand with God, and you won’t have to worry about anything.

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