Have you ever heard of this thing called the Netflix?
Supposedly, it’s this magical website where you can spend hours of your life binge watching shows (some of which you know are only mediocre at best) alone in your pajamas and no one will ever judge you for it because all you have to do is shrug and say “Netflix.”
Just kidding, we all know what Netflix is.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Netflix is absolutely wonderful, considering it has become my most constant companion in college, but you know what really bothers me about Netflix?
Now, maybe this is just my sub-par college internet connection, but sometimes when I start watching a movie or a show, the first two minutes or so are blurry.
Not like “I can’t tell what’s going on- is that Jim or Dwight? Why is John Krasinski in Breaking Bad? Wait, did I accidentally hit The Office instead of Breaking Bad? What’s happening” kind of blurry, but just blurry enough that the image isn’t clear. I can see what’s going on and I can tell who is who, but it’s not sharp. It’s not resolved. It looks like Netflix just woke up and it needs to blink a few times to see clearly. It’s just blurry.
Sometimes I feel like freshly-woken Netflix. I’m at a phase in my life where I kind of know what’s going on. I’m not in total confusion about the reality in which I live, but things just aren’t sharp. They aren’t resolved. My life is a little blurry.
I’ve already made some pretty big choices. I’ve selected the show I’m going to watch. But I’m still waiting for clarity. I’m waiting to see the details of what’s unfolding.
In some ways, it’s kind of a frustrating phase to be in. Because yeah, I know I’m watching How I Met Your Mother, and yeah, I know that’s Barney and not Ted talking. I can tell that much. But I want to see the details with absolute clarity (I mean, come on, it’s Neil Patrick Harris- who doesn’t want to see the details with absolute clarity). But I want this blurriness to go away. I just want to focus on the show and enjoy it.
I chose my major and I know what I’m going to be “when I grow up.” I know who I’ve (subconciously or not) chosen to be my friends and who I want to keep in my life. I know that one day I want to get married and have kids. I can tell that much. But I want this blurriness to go away.
I just want to be a teacher already and enjoy it. I just want to know who will stick around in my life after college. I just want to be a wife and a mom and enjoy it. I just want this blurriness to go away so I can live my life and enjoy it.
It’s not good enough that I know these things will come with time. I want to know the details of how they will happen. I want to see the details of my life with absolute clarity. Where will I work? What grade will I teach? Who will I marry? When will I meet them? How will I meet them? When will we get married? How many kids will I have? I want to see the details of my life with absolute clarity.
But here’s the catch.
I think sometimes this blurriness serves as absolute confirmation in our journey.
We complain day in and day out about how we wish we could just know.
But that fact of the matter is, knowing isn’t in the cards for us.
We weren’t made with the intention to just know. We were made with the intention to just live.
God is our just knower. He carries the burden of knowing all things so that we don’t have to- so we don’t have to be bogged down with knowledge that ultimately gets in the way of enjoying and living. So often we ask, we pray, we beg to just catch a glimpse of the future. Please, God, just let me know when I’ll meet him. Please, God, just let me know what career I should pursue. Please, God, just let me know if I’ll get this job. Please, God, let me know the details. Please, God, just let me know…..
And in some ways, I think the blurriness is God’s answer to our pleas. It’s God’s way of showing us that we’re headed in the right direction. We did, in fact, select Breaking Bad and not The Office. These are the right people. The right things are happening. Ted will meet the mother of his children eventually. You did choose the right major. You have the right people around you. The plot will unfold. Your story will go on.
Maybe you can’t see how it’ll happen right now. Maybe you don’t know the exact details. Maybe you can’t see what’s going on with absolute clarity. Maybe things are blurry. But this is right.
God has a way of caring for us in ways we don’t understand, and without that understanding, we get frustrated. We want Netflix to wake up and blink twice so we can see the details of Neil Patrick Harris’s gorgeous face. We want God to snap his fingers and show us with clarity how our life will unfold. But the truth is, we aren’t made to carry that burden. We have to trust in our maker to take care of the details.
So, my friends, I hope you learn to embrace the blur. We might not be able to see how our lives will unfold with absolute clarity, but that is God’s gift to us. Because of that, we are still able to feel excitement over the unexpected events in our lives. We have to relax and trust that God will reveal to us what we need to know, when we need to know it. So for now, just take a minute to simply revel in the blur.
And maybe get a faster internet connection.