Have you ever heard the song “Sixteen” by Thomas Rhett? If you live anywhere near the South, you probably have. But have you ever actually listened to the lyrics?
I was driving around last week on a sunny day with the windows down, and that song came on. I actually listened to the lyrics for the first time and realized that I live a lot of my life the way he talks about living in the song.
It starts off talking about a 15-year-old kid that just wants to be 16 and have his driver's license. Then he turns 16, and the license isn’t as satisfying as he thought it would be, and now all he wants is to be 18 and not have a curfew. He turns 18, and you guessed it, he’s still not satisfied. Now all he wants is to be 21 and able to drink legally and do other adult things.
The song ends with him at 25-years-old, thinking back to when all he really wanted was to turn 16. It was a time when life was easier, more simple, and had fewer obligations.
It was a time when getting his license seemed like the most important thing in the world.
The song is upbeat and light-hearted, but listening to those lyrics honestly made me pretty sad. Not just because Thomas Rhett wished away a solid ten years of his life, but because I think we all do that. I think I do that.
I remember being in middle school and thinking I would have it all when I got to high school and received my license. Then, I got to high school and thought if only I could get through the school year and make it to the summer, life would be perfect. Then, all I wanted was a boyfriend and cool besties. Then, all I wanted was to graduate. Then I had to make it to college. Then survive the first semester. Then just get past this one assignment.
The list goes on and on.
Every time I got the “one thing” I needed to be happy, I realized I needed the next thing. I mean, how often do we tell ourselves that “life will start tomorrow”? And then when we get to tomorrow, we tell ourselves the exact same thing! When does tomorrow ever actually come and when does life ever actually start?
The answer is that it already has! Life is happening today. Right now. And it is good, hard, fun, crazy, messy, wild, and unpredictable. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
When we start living every day just to get through it and make it to tomorrow, we’re missing all of the best parts!
Here’s what I have come to know with my whole mind and believe with my whole heart. Our satisfaction can only come from Jesus. Only He can fulfill our deepest desires. That’s why Thomas Rhett wasn’t happy with just his license and why I wasn’t happy when summer finally came. Those things are temporary fulfillment that we think we need to fill the voids we feel within us.
It doesn’t last. It never will.
So I’m committed to living for today. I'm committed to waking up every morning, as if the day I have been waiting for is finally here, because every day spent with Jesus is a gift and a party. He makes the hard days bearable and the good days great. He gives us a reason to rejoice over the now.
And if you ask me, that is a much more satisfying way to live.