For high school and college students, it’s summertime. For me, that means catching up on Netflix hits and making a dent in my reading list. Summertime finds me at home or at work. Occasionally it finds me hanging out with some new friends or making a quick trip to Little Rock to see old friends.
For several other of my friends, though, summertime is finding them walking through vineyards in Italy. Or maybe swimming in the Aegean Sea in Greece. For some, their summertime home is on the California coast or in the big city with a killer internship. No matter domestic or abroad, their summertime is dope.
And as excited as I am for these friends and their successes, it sucks a little bit. I love being home, and I love being with my family. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. But I’m not going to lie — seeing what others are up to sucks sometimes.
When you’re spending your summer back in the place where you’ve lived for 19 years doing the same, relatively easy and mundane job you did last summer, it’s easy to slip into the trap of feeling inadequate.
And if there is one word that I think is going to be the summation of summer 2017 for me, that word is inadequate.
I know, too, that I’m not alone. And that helps. I know that this feeling of inadequacy comes in different stages of life, no matter if you’re a student, a recent graduate or retired. It’s easy to feel inadequate when you compare yourself to other people who are doing really cool things.
But the other night I stepped out onto the front porch during a commercial break of The Bachelorette. (Yeah, whatever, judge me. We’re not perfect people). I’ve always loved the sunsets from our front porch. And this wasn’t even the most stunning one that I’ve seen. Honestly, it probably wasn’t even in the top five or 10. But it was the circumstances that made it memorable.
In my feelings of inadequacy, I watched as the clouds and sky, with what seemed the stroke of one giant paint brush, moved from blue to orange to pink and then dark. And I don’t know what it was really, but something in that 20 minutes that I spent outside watching that setting sun told me something.
It felt as if God was telling me where he has me is enough. With that beautiful, everyday feat of nature, it felt like God was telling me that my feelings of inadequacy can be real, but that where he has me is enough.
There’s no doubt that this summer is still going to be hard. It will and it is. But I hope that God keeps sending me those small messages — that this is enough. And I hope next summer or whenever might bring bigger and better plans than I can ever imagine.
But for now, this is enough.