Eyes Wide Open: The Art of Quitting

Watson and I went on our nightly walk as the sky grew darker and darker. He stopped, sniffed, and leaped for the bug in front of him as it lighted up, his little furry paws frantically dug in the grass, looking for where the light went. He looked up at the sky, up at me, and his eyes settled on the tree line ahead. He froze.

Firefly. Lightning bug. Beauty.

I continued watching him, wondering what he was looking at and thinking he was so adorable and serious simultaneously. I, too, looked up at the treeline and stood there stunned and amazed.

Hundreds of fireflies lit up the dark night sky as they called to each other in silence through the trees. I opened my eyes wider, not wanting to miss anything, awed and starstruck. Too many to count, there for a second and gone again. Even tracking the movement of just one was difficult.

Watson became like a tiny little bucking bull again, chasing a firefly in the night. His front paws flailing in the air. I smiled. I looked away from the trees again to see his adorableness and reflected on the last few years of my life, analyzing my wide eyes and zeal to not miss a single firefly to how i’ve lived in recent years.

And it truly hit me. Really. For the last few years I’ve lived life with eyes closed tight, peeking through eyes half open to live this life. I’ve lived in a fog. I’ve missed opportunities and lived in fear. I’ve not lived big and loved big. I’ve lived safe. Safe.

In most recent years i’ve done what I’m supposed to do and tried to follow Jesus, but I cannot reconcile this safe life lived and eyes closed tight with a life that follows Christ. They don’t match.

“I love Jesus but I’m afraid to move…. ”

“I love Jesus, but I’m afraid to love.”

“I love Jesus, but I can’t be truthful about myself to you.”

“I love Jesus, but I cannot let myself be loved by you”.

“I love Jesus… but… but… but… ”

The “buts” of life crowd my memory. The internship that I could have gone out of state for. The program I could have quit to join another program. The job I was too afraid to take. The opportunity I passed up because of my laziness. The years I missed out not following Him. The train wreck of a life not willing. My life. My train wrecked life.

Regrets filled me as I looked up at the night sky with watson by my side. We looked at the sky, the trees, the fireflies. I even dared to look at the grassy field near the treeline and I imagined. I imagined green grass that I couldn’t see in the dark nights. I imagined what it looks like during the day, the dragonflies, the bunnies in their holes, the bats in the trees, the birds building nests. I imagined what my life would be if I had lived life in the daytime with eyes wide open. With heart wide open. With arms wide open. If I hadn’t thought about my discomfort and instead, thought about others. If I hadn’t stayed in this little hole I’ve build myself, but instead climbed out, taken risks, lived large, loved big…

And through my regrets and missed opportunities realized, here’s what I knew:

Life is too short for regrets. Life is too short for the ifs. Life is too short for the what nots and should nots and safe living. Life is too short. The days of life are long and years are very short. Year after year passes by in a blink. Seize the opportunities. GROW.

When you realize that, the regrets leave you. The missed opportunities and the safe living all becomes a part of who you are and the path He has called you to. All of those things become amazing for His glory. All the glory to Him when I realized I didn’t do those internships and didn’t take those jobs and didn’t live where I thought I should.. and life is still amazing.

Life is still amazing because it’s been given.

So friends, Let’s quit. Let’s quit our navel gazing and quit our regrets. Let’s rejoice over quitting those things and quit lamenting over quit dreams. Let’s start living with eyes wide open and seeing people as they are. Let’s start calling out the beauty in life around us. Let’s start giving thanks to Him for every moment of every day- because even He can use what seems bad to us and make it good. He’s the best at that. He truly does miracles.

He makes my sadness turn to joy and my grief turn to dancing. Though my sorrow lasts for a night, his joy finds me every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

This is a gift.

Life is a gift

Live this life with eyes wide open, even if you have to painfully pry them open with toothpicks.

See the goodness in life like…

  • Fireflies in tress like stars in the sky
  • Smiles from a thankful friend
  • Bare feet running up the stairs
  • A blog post written
  • St Jude doctors and their wisdom
  • A friend’s sweet text “how are you?”
  • Job well done.
  • The ending of a headache
  • Freedom to be honest in Christ
  • New friendship, new bonding, new smiles.

What’s in your life? What are your gifts? What do you see with eyes peeled open? How do you see the world?

Help me change today.

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About scarmich

A girl in her 20's looking at love, life, and laughter in the mundane.

4 responses to “Eyes Wide Open: The Art of Quitting

  1. YES! I loved this so much! I also tend to beat myself up over my regrets. When we first moved to Raleigh I got two job offers at the same time – one was for an office manager at a church in Durham and one was for a marketing admin job at a huge commercial real estate company in Raleigh. The marketing job was closer to my house and paid a little more and I thought it was a better step career-wise. I thought it would look better on my resume and it made me feel like I had a real grown up job. And as it turned out, I absolutely hated my corporate job. I spent a year there and almost from the first month I was beating myself up for being swayed by a “fancier” job instead of really trying to discern where God wanted me. BUT in the end, I never would have come to Korea if I’d been in a job I loved and was satisfied in. That very discontentment is what made me open to such a big change. Anyway, long story just to say that I’m learning more and more how God uses even the things we regret. Great post!

    • I love that you loved this!! AND i appreciate your story that really connects with mine… Realizing that the very discontentment in life is what moves us forward. Love it.

      • Yeah, I definitely think that’s true. It’s not necessarily wrong to feel discontent. We just have to ask what we’re supposed to do with that – sometimes it’s because we need to learn to be content in our circumstances and sometimes its God’s way of nudging us into something new. šŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: What I’m Into: June 2015 Edition | Such Small Hands

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