Are you good at being a grown-up?


I’m 27 years old. I guess that makes me a grown-up. And as I plunge headfirst into these busy fall days, I find that there’s sometimes an obnoxious internal panel of judges deciding whether or not I’m good at being a grown-up. I remembered to get the mail.10 points! I showed up on time for a meeting. 50 points! I haven’t done the dishes for three days. Minus 200 points! And on and on.

And to be fair, I am the first one to advocate for taking good care of ourselves. Being able to nourish our bodies with healthy(ish) food matters. Creating a space to live that feels like a sanctuary and doesn’t make us sneeze matters. Remembering to pay the rent on time matters. But the panel of judges? They’ve got it all wrong! They know about fitting into the main stream, they know about survival, but what do they know about goodness? What do they know about thriving? Nothing!

My favourite poet Mary Oliver asks,

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

And to me this is the core question of my life. Of my faith. If I could, I would fire that nagging panel of judges who want me to “have it all together” and replace them with a loving, gently persistent friend (I picture her as a 70 year old with radiant white hair and a feisty smile) who asks me that same question each morning.

Jessie, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

I guess my need to be asked that question is part of the reason why I keep going back to read  about the stuff Jesus said and did, even when the bible frustrates me, even when it bores me. Because Jesus lived life with the awareness that life is wild and precious. He went all in. He didn’t seem to bother worrying whether he was good at being a grown-up by the standards of the day. Even, as Amanda reminded us in her guest post last week, when his radical way of doing life went seriously against the grain of mainstream culture.

Are you good at being a grown-up? By whose standards? What reminds you that your life is wild and precious?


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