Have you ever gone back and visited areas where you were raised as a child? Maybe it was a certain park you recall playing in, perhaps a grade school you once attended for a solid five years of your life, possibly a church you grew up in, a favorite restaurant the folks brought you to each and every week, or perchance the home of a best friend you did everything under the sun with…?
I reminisced a few years back while driving; I decided to drive on the side of Anderson, South Carolina, where I grew up as a kid. Everything pretty much looked the same apart from a few cosmetic differences and modifications that took place throughout the years. I decided to drive out to my old grade school. Calhoun Street Elementary School – Go whatever the school mascot was! What? I forgot. Principal Danny Shaw and Ms. Self roamed the hallways then. Computers were about to be in their prime and the internet wasn’t even a “thing” then. Rectangle pizza was life, field day was something we all looked forward to at the end of the year, and recess… just the word recess is enough. What a glorious time to be alive!
The initial thing I noticed when arriving at my old school was the out of date playground I spent countless hours of my life on as a kid. Man, I miss recess. Chasing girls around the tire swing, playing an epic game of freeze tag with my friends, and always nervous I was going to lose my shoe to a ball from being kicked in a game of kickball. I even remember dropping those dance moves to an MC Hammer song, ‘Too Legit To Quit’ on a stage in front of hundreds for my 5th grade project. My mom has the VHS of this. I don’t lie. Ask her. I had the parachute pants and all. I take that back. Don’t ask her. She will show you. The world doesn’t need to see that.
You see, nothing seemed to matter back then. We kids back then were all just content with life. The simple things, right? Everything seemed so much bigger back in grade school – the playground, the cafeteria, the classrooms, the adults, the school buses, the library (when it was really cool) and even the gym. I think of the rainbow parachute during gym class. I remember when all the students swiftly hurried under the parachute thing after lifting it above our heads. It was an epic. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “rainbow parachute thing,” you really missed out. Just saying.
As I towered above my previous stomping grounds from back in my 5th grade glory, it was now like I was attending some kind of Lego Land. Was this really the place where I chased Haley King around the playground each and every day at recess, and she gracefully rejected me? Not cool Haley, not cool. Was this really the place where my childhood best friend Danny Boseman and I would draw up skateboarding comics in our classes to pass the time? Shhh. Don’t tell Mrs. Meredith. The whole thing made me laugh out loud. Everything that was so giant in size back in my grade school years seemed so small now. It’s amazing how hindsight can put events that used to seem so dramatic or giant in perspective.
There are probably some things that you’re going through right now that seem pretty overwhelming. Chances are you’ll look backwards a few years from today, and realize they actually aren’t as giant as you supposed they were. The relationship you lost that you thought you couldn’t live without won’t feel like the end of the world any longer. That financial obstacle you thought you might never recover from will have passed. That loss of a friend or family member that hit you so hard that you just couldn’t seem to move on with your own life, but now you’re doing okay. That time you chased someone around at recess and rejected you time after time again – (Cough) Haley. That job you lost unexpectedly, and you had no idea how you were going to provide for you or your household. At these moments in time, the obstacles or circumstances may seem HUGE or even dramatic in their time! Over time, probably not so much. What at one point seemed to be towering over you will one day look like a Lego Land. Think about my grade school playground. What at one point of my life was bigger than me, I’m now bigger than it. I grew out of it. I grew beyond it. I grew from it. Think about that for a minute. That battle you’re confronting right now or will face in the future – it won’t swallow you up. That devil of a circumstance where it seems defeat is the only choice – it’s not. We have and will forever have, what seem to us, huge battles. Only God is bigger. His power is stronger. His presence and purpose for your life is greater. You’ll begin to grasp that God didn’t let you go hungry, He did leave you broke forever, You didn’t live defeated forever, or God didn’t even let you die in your circumstance – in fact; He elevated your faith to new heights and took your relationship with Him to another level. A stronger relationship and a newfound faith in His purpose for your life. There is purpose in your struggle. I can promise you that much. That future that you will walk one day – God has already been there. That thing that, right now, is towering over you, God is towering over it. That circumstance that is surrounding you, God right now surrounds it. He’s walked your entire future. He’s witnessed and watched us overcome every single circumstance and all of the battles in our lives. God has no anxiety over our futures. God has not worried over it. Right now, He’s not panicking over it. We shouldn’t be, either. He’s got you and He’s got this.
What may seem BIG today may just seem so minor and insignificant later.