The World Race is Not Enough
Updated: Jan 28, 2018
"Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist. A baby feels hunger, well there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim, well there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire, well there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire in which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that (my soul) was made for another world" - C.S. Lewis
I've been struggling to write over the past couple of months. Every time I have sat down, I've experienced what I can really only call "writers block", although I am by no means a writer. Normally, I write in lists and in long streams of consciousness. I write how I think. I sit down, and it comes out, my fingers struggling to keep up with my thoughts as I type. Well, I haven't experienced that kind of ease in writing since Cambodia. Writing suddenly became... stressful. I guess I'm starting to realize how many people really read my blogs... past racers, current racers, future racers, parents, friends, friends of friends, complete strangers. So many people have reached out before and during the race telling me how jealous they are because I get to do all of this travelling while I'm still young, and I get to experience all of these cultures, and all of this is true. I am so blessed. I am so glad that the Lord's will for my life led me here, and yet I still have to share a little secret: I'm still not content.
I remember being in High School, near the end of my senior year just willing the time to pass so I could graduate and get out. I couldn't wait to just go go go, and then suddenly I was in college and after a year, I was ready to graduate and start my life... so much so that I took way too many hours each semester so I could graduate a year early. Then, I graduated, moved to Missouri and got a big-girl job... and after a couple of months I was, again, ready to move on to the next thing. Then, I got accepted to the World Race. I started fundraising, planning and moving out, ready to start this new chapter of my life. I spent every one of those days dreaming about the World Race and what it would be like. I spent most of those days wishing away the season I was in; wishing I could skip ahead, and now I'm here... and guess what: I'm still not content.
I'm on the World Race, travelling from country to country, and I've spent a shamefully large portion of it wondering things like, what will I do when I get back to the States? Should I get a job? Should I go back on the field? Will I get my masters? Will I get married? Will I have to move back in with my parents? Will I go back to Houston? Oklahoma City? Overseas?
I remember sitting outside of a tiny hut in a village in Nepal while one of my squad mates preached to the people there, and I caught myself thinking about whether or not I'll go back to graphic design when I get home... During my second month on the race, I spent time thinking about what I would do in 9 and a half months... and I forgot that I was in a village in Nepal witnessing healings, and watching people come to Christ. I was wishing away this amazing moment rather than living it.
This, unfortunately, is the reality of the Race. I'll take a gamble and say that every person on my squad thought that they would find some level of contentment by going on the race. But the truth is, contentment cannot be found outside of the Lord, and if we try to seek it outside of the Lord, we will be disappointed every single time. I've tried to find contentment in every "next thing", and it's never enough. Just ask the author of Ecclesiastes (most likely King Solomon) who tried everything "under the sun" to find the "good life". He tried to seek it in wisdom, pleasure, wealth, honor, and even religion, and he called it all "hebel", meaning smoke or vapor. Meaningless. Impossible to grasp hold of.
Yeah, the World Race is a pretty way to find contentment, but fulfillment is not the purpose or the promise of the World Race. It won't satisfy you or me.
All I can say is that I've fallen for it yet again. I've fallen for the lie that says "if this happens, then you'll be happy". And friends, I need you to know this about the Race. I need you to know that the World Race is not enough. Travel is not enough. Money is not enough. Adventure is not enough. Family is not enough. A new car is not enough. A spouse is not enough. None of these things in and of themselves are enough because they are not Jesus.
Jesus is enough. His grace is enough. His sacrifice is enough.
I worry that people miss this when they read World Race blogs and see Instagram posts. They see the highlight reel, but they miss the tears and the hardships. They miss the discomfort and the complaining. They miss the hard feedback and the regrets.
I'm here to tell you that where you are is where the Lord intends to grow you and be good to you. Don't be like Month 7 AnnaGrace. Don't be in the purposeful place where you are and wish it all away.
Please pray for me. I'm in my 8th month on the Race, and to tell you the truth, it's really really hard to stay present. It's hard not to think about my future. All I want is to send out my non-existent portfolio and get a job... and an apartment... and a car. All I want is to spend my time preparing for my return to the States in 3 months, but I need to stay present. I need to spend my time fighting for my teammates and giving my whole heart to the ministry the Lord has me in here in Bulgaria.
With love from Shtip, Macedonia