Our fast-paced, over-stimulated, distracted lifestyle is not only unhealthy on a number of levels, it’s unfortunately tragic; because it prevents us from grasping one huge, profound reality that shapes the way we live: our lives here are but a breath.
Depressing? Not if you have the right perspective. Heaven is what we are living for. And as much as we may love this life, Heaven is way better. Like the difference between liver-flavored ice cream and fudge brownie ice cream, as I’ve told my children. And so this life is about storing up all the heavenly treasure we can.
I was watching my children today. I know you’ve done this too: watched and wondered when they got so big, reaching, with all your might, into your memory to remember them as babies and probably couldn’t. Such a drastic difference from then to now, and yet you don’t really realize it happened because it was so gradual.
As I watched them I reflected that half my life is likely over.
I don’t want that to be a source of discouragement, but of inspiration. I want to realize that in these frenzied moments of daily tasks that do have to be done, there is still a far more important thing happening, and happening fast.
Little babies given to me are quickly becoming men and women. I have this short window to talk to them, listen to them, sit with them, hold them, teach them, read to them and invest in them in a way that will go with them when they leave here.
A small window to store up treasures in Heaven.
Hardly a person alive will deny that at the end of this life, all that really mattered was the people. Yet we seem to forget that in the moments that make up the span of life.
I don’t want to miss the people. And not just my children but my friend, my neighbor, my parents–whoever is in front of me.
The simple act of giving another your undivided attention has never been a greater challenge as we fight against ring tones and message alerts and being “on call” 24 hours through our devices. (A good way to avoid that, by the way, is to have a phone that only calls people. You’re welcome.)
We can also get sidetracked majoring on the minors (raising my hand). How many times have I
snapped lost it over shoes strewn all over the floor (again), ignoring the greater job of patiently training little people who aren’t concerned with aesthetics the way I am.
We are over-booked, over-loaded and over-exerted. It is a deliberate choice to ask, “teach me to number my days.” Sometimes we just need to plant ourselves in front of the steam-roller of life, throw up a hand and say, “stop while I plant the seeds that matter.”
As a woman who struggles with anxiety and the desire to do everything NOW, I have to purpose to stop and remind myself that there are very few real emergencies and the world isn’t going to end over windows that haven’t been cleaned for two weeks (yes, I know).
Right now, in fact, there are three bamboo tee-pees on my front porch, smack in the middle of the walkway. Not on the end of the porch, neatly out of the way, but right in the middle. Wait, I’ll just take a picture and show you…
And, it grew.
I have this quirky thing. I have a strong need for visual order and beauty. Hilarious, isn’t it, that God gave me 10 children? Yes, I think so too.
The thing is, it’s a mess, but they had the most fun building it and since we no longer have any shade trees, the porch was a logical place. They learned some problem-solving lessons and I’m going to resist the urge to have them hurriedly destroy what they spent half a day building, just because it would be prettier if they cleaned up. Don’t pat me on the back, though.
I don’t always make the right choice. But today, I choose
tee pees the treasure.