You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. Psalm 39:5
I was excited this morning after I crept out of bed, trying not to wake anyone, as I grabbed some clothes I needed for a run, and then checked my email. I saw Brandon’s post about running, and I chuckled because I have not gone for a run in weeks, and the day I finally decide to make it happen, I see a shoe. Its not that I don’t like to run, that I haven’t gone lately, but it’s that a dozen other things seem to take priority over this activity most days. And with forecast temps in the 30’s this coming week, it seems the warm weather will be waning soon, and I should get out and enjoy the warm, humid air. I like running because it is good for me, not just physically, but more so mentally. It helps me think more clearly and focus on what’s most important. It is a diversion from my normal routine that helps me look at what is going on in my life a little better. What activities help you get a better perspective on life?
As I did a couple loops, I paused briefly at a cemetery and thought of a retired co-worker, whose husband is buried there, as well as others I’ve known who have passed away and the need to make our time here count, because it slips away faster than we would like. Often, when we consider death, whether that of others or our own, we tend to embrace life a little more fervently. If you have ever heard anyone talk who had a near death experience, you realize they greatly appreciate each new day they are given. How much do we appreciate and give thanks for this new day? In Christ’s time, death was much more evident in society than it is here. Generally, we try to hide death from everyone and we try to make the dead look as alive as possible the few days before they are buried. Up till this past century, which was the bloodiest on record, people tended to spend more time with those who lost a loved one. In Christ’s time, there were dead bodies hanging on crosses as a sign to others to ‘stay in line’. I’m not advocating for more morbidity or dead bodies in the public arena, but more of an awareness that death is just as much a part of each day as life is. It seems to help us appreciate this life we are given a little more.
This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind? Ecclesastes 5:16
The one commodity that is limited for us all, is time. If I had 48 hours in a day, I still would still probably not be able to get everything done that I need to and would like. Work, Home, exercise, rest, projects, social time, reading, Time with God? Where does all that fit in? Up till the past few years, I was usually able to juggle most everything, not always perfectly, but in an acceptable manner, sometimes to my own detriment. As I take on more responsibility with extra kids and commitments, it seems to be getting more difficult. It’s all about prioritizing, you do what you feel is most important in any given moment or day. Just do a time study – an inventory of where you actually spend your time for a few days, and you might be surprised what you find. Our natural tendency is to do what is easiest, and if you have ‘free’ time, what do you usually do? My natural tendency is to turn to the internet or television. These and other things are ok in moderation, but often can gobble up time in a hurry if we let them. Where do you waste the most time?
So, how do you choose what you will be doing today? Likely some things seem like you have to get them done, like work, paying bills, raking the leaves, etc, or there will be consequences. Then there may be things you choose to do, because you enjoy doing it…hobbies, helping others, visiting friends, volunteering, reading, eating, watching a show, etc. These may fill in most of the rest of the things in our day if we let it. Everything we do has consequences. If we choose to do something we like, we give up time serving in other areas, or seeking to grow and do new things, which are more uncomfortable. Are you seeking new areas in which to learn and grow on a regular basis? It is easy to say, ‘I don’t know much about that’ and either leave it to someone else, or avoid it all together. This is fine in some areas, like constructions, where you don’t want to mess up multiple times before getting it right, but not all the time. It is important to keep a curious mind and seek to grow on a regular basis. Do you think there is room to grow in your faith? What areas is God asking you to try new things and to grow in trust, love, or forgiveness? Honestly, as much as I have an opportunity to practice these things, there is always room for me to grow. May you be blessed in the attempt.
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Yours in Christ,