I don’t like discrepancies. I like consistency. Certainty. Knowing what is coming next. But life doesn’t always play by my rules. So I find myself here, right in the middle of my own life discrepancy. And I must admit it is highly uncomfortable.
I’m living inside this place of life discrepancy. It’s the space between where I am now and where I am going to be. I’m on a long road, staring off into the distance towards the future where God is ultimately leading me, pulling me to go.
And I feel the strength of the pull.
Day by day, I feel pulled into who I am becoming—the future ME. I feel stretched, molded and oftentimes pruned. Sometimes I feel like a ball of putty, wondering if anything in my life will remain in place or stay solid. Other times, I feel so hardened and stuck that I wonder if I can even change or grow at all.
But I’m in the thick of it. In the thick of this life discrepancy. I know who I want to be. I can feel the beginnings of it inside of me, popping around like the first loud bursts of the coffeemaker as it awakens. But I don’t completely know what’s brewing, what blend I’m becoming. I only catch the beginning whiffs.
And I vacillate in my feelings during this time of life discrepancy. Is it really worth all the effort? Is where I’m going really worth the time and cost investment?
Yet I’m compelled. I don’t have a choice. I have to become who I was created to be. To stagnate or stop moving forward is not an option.
I can actually feel the future ME inside my current self—stretching to get out, trying to emerge out of this current shell where I’ve lived for so many years.
I feel a lot like the Hermit Crab in Eric Carle’s House for Hermit Crab. After years of wandering the ocean in his current shell, finding various shell embellishments along the way, Hermit Crab realizes his shell is now too small. He finally accepts this reality and decides to go looking for a bigger shell. But he has to start the process of looking all over again. Yet the provision is there as he embarks on the next stage of his journey.
Shell discrepancy. Life discrepancy. I’m right there with ya, Mr. Crab, I don’t really know where to find my bigger shell either. Maybe we can wander the ocean and discover them together.
This place of life discrepancy isn’t comfortable. There’s a definite disconnect, a discordance if you will. But it’s not entirely unpleasant because I like who I am right now. It’s just not enough.
Yes, it’s just not enough. I can’t explain it, but I just can’t remain as I am. I feel pulled to grow. I feel compelled to stretch my wings. I feel dared to reach inside myself and pull out the rest of who I am, which I haven’t yet discovered. It’s there for the unpacking: new treasures inside of me.
And this is the case with all of us. I’ve written on unpacking the treasures in us before (See Never too old…Never too Late).
God places these treasures along the timeline of our lives, for us to discover as we journey along our way, like the shell embellishments that Hermit Crab chances upon. We don’t get everything all at once—spiritual jackpots are just not God’s MO. He’s a builder and He enjoys taking His time with us.
God increases us bit by bit, year by year, so that we have the character basis to sustain the treasures that he pours out onto our lives. The reality is that if we hit the spiritual jackpot one day and got every gift and skill we wanted, most of us wouldn’t know what to do with it all. Just like natural lottery winners.
So I’m settling into this space of life discrepancy and transitional discomfort, as God continues to build me, because I know I’m in it for the long haul. I have my eyes wide open for the treasures that God will bring me along the way. I don’t want to miss a thing.
I’m learning how to enjoy living in this in-between place. Because life truly is a journey, a pilgrimage, and I won’t feel truly content and satisfied until I’m finally home with Him. This world is a foretaste of what is to come. A foretaste by definition can’t fully satisfy.
So until I arrive at my final destination, I’ll be in this in-between space, this place of life discrepancy between what is and what will be. This place between who I am and who He’s maturing me to become.
So I stretch…I reach…I look forward. For the future ME. For my bigger shell. I put my hand out to the future and I keep moving.
Won’t you join me in this quest?
You’re there too. You’re living in the middle of your life discrepancy.
You need a bigger shell. It’s out there waiting for you to discover it.
Think of all the possibilities.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” (Luke 16:10)
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).