At the ripe, young age of twenty one years old, I can admit one thing to myself that I don’t normally like to say out loud: I should be engaged.
When you say these words aloud in the sentence that they are strung, your mind probably instantly jumps to that time of life before marriage and after a long term and serious time of dating. That time where you and your significant other scour Pinterest, save all of your money, choose a wedding party, pick out the perfect dresses, and plan everything for that one, special big day that resonates true love and passion for marriage to come. I should be engaged, but not in the sense that you are thinking.
No, that type of engagement is not what this article is about.
From being a busy college student with a full class schedule, working full time, and sustaining friendships, family, and a relationship, I can admit that I am not as engaged in parts of my life that I wish I was, that I wish I could be, and I promise myself I will do a better job at sustaining. So in this new year, this new chance, and this fresh start, I want to be more engaged in specific aspects of my life, and live intentionally by being alive in the season which I am surviving.
It scares me to say it out loud. I knew as soon as I decided to live more engaged that this idea was a calling from Christ and that it wasn’t my idea— I’d never ask for something so radical. I would never force myself to step out of my comfort zone in such a way that would terrify me and call for a change of behavior, yet that is exactly what being more engaged is all about.
Becoming more engaged means living in a way that is true, meaningful, and intentional. So, here is exactly how I want to live engaged:
I want to be engaged in conversation, true, meaningful conversation and thoughts with the person across the table from me, in my passenger seat, sitting next to me in class, the coworker on the other side of the cubicle wall, the person on the other side of my Starbucks cup, and the person who makes the effort to drive to the other side of the state for me. I want to set the phone down, close the laptop, and click the power button on the television to seek conversations that will fulfill my mind and soul. I want to talk to people at two in the afternoon and at two in the morning. I want to know more than just what they think, but I want to know how they feel. I don’t want to live a life of walking past faces with stories behind their broken eyes and not bother to ask why they look the way they look, and why they do the things they do. I want to be engaged in conversation.
I want to be engaged in my love for others. Sometimes, I get heavily criticized for caring too much, but I do not think that is a bad characteristic to have. In a world full of people who do not care about politics, their health, their time, their loved ones, and their priorities, I want to care more. I want to be the person that people know they can come to and receive genuine love, prayer, and adoration from. I want to care about those I love, those I am close to, and even those I do not know. I want to open my heart up to being more vulnerable and seeking more room to make way for loving more people. I want to love more, harder, fiercer, and better than I have in the past. I want to be engaged in my love for others.
I want to be engaged in a love for life. I want to wake up in the morning, open my eyes, and find myself ready to take on whatever the day brings. I want to find a richness in life that can only be satisfied by actually living it, acting it, being a part of it, and taking the driver’s seat on my own fate and destiny. I want to love what I do, who I am, where I live, what I intend to do, and the person that others see me as, or maybe, the person they do not see me as. I want to become more engaged on my love for the one life I have to live, this one, tiny, metaphorically invisible life that I am given as a gift to live out on earth, and I want to take it by the reigns and make it all that it has the possibility of being. I want to be engaged in a love for life.
I want to be engaged with my wanderlust soul. It is unhealthy to ignore that itch to travel the world. I want to spend my money on experiences, not things. I want to spend my time on moments, not Facebook. I want to make memories that will last a lifetime, not just for the 24 hours that lasts in my Snapchat story. I want to take chances, not just for someone else to tweet about it. I want to live my life more God-fearing and travel the world, becoming more in touch with myself and who He created me to be. I want to be engaged with my wanderlust soul.
I want to be engaged in my relationship with Christ. I want to read more, learn more, do more, and understand more. I want to fully immerse myself in His word, His ways, and His good acts. I want to understand true love by fully understanding what Christ did on the cross for my salvation. I want to be engaged with my Christianity in the fullest sense, embracing each moment that God gives me to bring His light on Earth as He calls us to do. I want to pray with a full heart, with full intentions of listening what God has to say back to me, and without the constraints that have held me back in the past. I want to be confident, courageous, and bold in my desires to seek Christ in every step of my life. I want to be engaged in my relationship with Christ.
What will you do to be more engaged?
It’s a new year, a new month, I’m another year older, and I want nothing more than to be engaged. Life looks better engaged, whether or not there is a ring involved. We have a God who is engaged in our lives, our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our presence here on Earth, and none of us did anything to deserve His fullness in every moment of our lives.
Be engaged, and live intentionally with me.