NOTE: I wrote this literally the week before Covid-19 broke loose and became a common household term, before social distancing and self-isolation became the norm. Somehow it seems even more relevant now. Look for “TODAY” at the end for practical ways to use this during COVID-19.
Lesson #3: Time is Short – Embrace the Moments! When I first met my husband, we shared a conversation that became a game-changer for me in our relationship, one that took me from mildly interested in him to quite intrigued. Leaning in toward me earnestly, he said, “I’ve missed so many moments in my life. Moments I can never get back.”
His head dropped with a small shake before he looked back up at me again, his eyes bright with intensity. “I don’t want to miss any more. So, I am going to be very, very intentional in making the most of my moments with you.”
Wow, I thought. Here’s a guy that really gets it. I probably don’t think that way enough. As I reflect back over my life, I see the missed opportunities that will never come my way again: the ability to hold my babies, to attend more events, to engage more authentically with them. The doors that opened that I didn’t walk through. The friendships I allowed to drift; the years I gutted my way through; the subtleties I missed only to regret that fact much later. The truth is I haven’t always been fully present in my life. Maybe it has to do with being in my 50’s now, but my perception of time has changed. I still remember being a young kid, my young brain stretching to remember all the way back to the beginning of the school year. Now, the months start to blur together. I blink and another day passes. It’s a little overwhelming.
AND…I know that speeding up of my life’s clock will only continue to increase in speed.
“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” James tells us in James 4:14, a reminder that tomorrow has no guarantee.
“I know there is nothing better for us than to be joyful and to do good throughout our lives,” the wise King Solomon explains. “To eat and drink and see the good in all of our hard work is a gift from God” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).
I find myself being far more intentional than I have ever been with my pursuits, my passions, my family, my purpose. I don’t want to look back with regret. I want to embrace the Lord TODAY, since He is the only one able to give me the lasting gift of true purpose. And while I hope I have many, many more years on this earth, like my husband I, too, want to make the most of the time I have left.
Moments. They are all you and I have. We don’t get to go back. We can’t jump ahead. There’s only this moment. Right here. Right now. What will you do with it?
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT: There are many things that keep us from embracing individual moments. Worry. Stress. Money. Fear. Disease. God gives us many, many weapons to fight back against all of those things, to trust in him for a different outcome, or to make it through our situation stronger and better than before.
Take a moment and reflect on what keeps you personally from embracing your life today. Consider what scriptures might help you find a different way to move forward with more intentionality and joy. I will post several of my favorites on this clickable link for The Dented Fender Facebook page you can explore, but here are two of mine: 2 Corinthians 7:10 (MSG), Romans 8:26-39 (VOICE),
TODAY: We have no guarantees for tomorrow. Ever. I’ve heard a lot of people say the hardest thing for them is that they no longer feel in control of their lives. I so get that! But here’s the point: we are NEVER in control of our lives in the purest sense. Life is a gift, not a guarantee. In light of Covid-19, I feel more mindful of my moments than ever, and more determined to focus out on encouraging others as well as in to be encouraged by God.
There is power that comes from realistically dealing with your circumstances from a position of faith. There is joy that comes from sharing your heart and fears with others, and listening to theirs while offering up prayers and encouragement for the road ahead.
What is one way you can give today to someone else? Is it sending letters to an elderly home, or to friends you haven’t seen for a while? Is it donating food or clothing to a food bank for those who can’t afford food right now? Is it dropping off supplies to your neighbor who is part of the more vulnerable population and shouldn’t be at a grocery store right now? Do what you can do vs. focusing in on what you can’t. You will be encouraged!