Maybe you’ve been where I am, in the middle of a season in which you are having a hard time settling down. Maybe you transferred to a new school and you don’t feel at home there. Maybe you know you will only be in your town for a few more months and don’t feel the need to invest your time and energy there. Or maybe you are literally only living in an apartment for a short while and you don’t think setting down is even possible.
I believe everyone has had a time like this in their life. I have personally found that it can be hard to find fulfillment when you know your current situation will soon be coming to an end. The scene of life in your college town will fade out and adult life in another will begin. Your stressful job will eventually be replaced by something better. Or you will move to a place where you feel you can finally live life fully.
I would challenge you to invest fully wherever you are. Even if only for a few weeks; even if only for one person. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:24 “Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.” He reminds us that in each season, we are ultimately put there by our God. Being unhappy or unsettled does not negate the fact that God’s will would have us exactly where we are.
- Find someone to invest in
Even though you will not be there forever, you have the ability to affect those around you in a short time. You can strive every day to make someone feel loved and open up a dialogue about Jesus and his presence in your life. While this may not be the most memorable time of your life, it may be for someone else and you can be a part of that and help make it even more meaningful for them.
- When things get difficult, remember this is only temporary
This season may be temporary but it is also serving a purpose! Remember Paul, who sat in prison for years of his life and was eventually beheaded for his beliefs? He wrote the following words in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 to remind us of our heavenly treasure: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” While we may be feeling empty and broken, our God has something better planned. He is preparing us for future trials and growing us everyday through the momentary problems of today.
- Exceed expectations
Why not go above and beyond? Your job, professors, coworkers, or roommates will appreciate your work ethic and you will likely remember your time more positively when you know you gave it everything you had. Striving for perfection will help you in future positions, friendships, and opportunities.
- Think of how you will look back on this season
You have some power over how you will look back on this season of life. You can control whether you will look back and remember the miserable, lonely nights or the joyful gatherings with new friends. You get to choose how you will remember the temporary season. Find a way to make it a positive experience so you can learn and grow through it even if it isn’t what you expected or wanted.
When it gets hard, remember that He is in control and that this temporary season doesn’t have to feel meaningless. Make this short period worth something by investing time and energy in the people around you, by working harder than ever, and by changing how you think about your circumstances. When you feel empty, remember that God is waiting for you to draw near to Him. By giving of our time, loving constantly, and changing our expectations, we can find fulfillment in the temporary.