“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” Prov. 6:10-11
Let me be forward from the start. This post is for me. Everything you’re about to read is in some way pertinent to my life, even as the words come out of my fingertips. The tendency when reading or hearing things like this is to assume the author/content originator is somehow above it. Like a law enforcement officer who thinks he can speed for no good reason because no one will write him a ticket. I am not above what I write.
This is an honest glimpse into where I am in my walk as a man, husband and father. These are my tendencies and struggles as well as some of the battles I face. This is me.
(photo credits to the amazingly talented Laura Vanderzee)
Life Wins the Race – Every Time
I waste time. A lot of it. I make justifications about why today is not the “best” day to do this or that. I minored in the justification of poor “D”ecisions (check my college transcript and you’ll see what I mean). I had intentions of paving a better way in college but the hurry up and wait mentality eroded my success. To this day I battle against this thought process.
This year has shown me what’s really important: a faith that’s active, a family to revel in and sacrifice for, hard work that provides, fun with the people I love, vulnerability and trust, friendship, accountability for my actions, responsibility for the tasks at hand, and being redemptive in light of the gospel.
My life to date does show that I’ve valued such things; at least not to the degree they deserve it. I’m the ultimate squanderer, the prodigal husband and father. I’ve wasted more moments than I want to recount on my own desires; putting off or pushing away the things that matter most until “later”.
All I have to do is flip through the pictures on my phone and I know it’s happening…My kids are growing too quickly. The mirror reflection of my hair indicates that it’s either snowing or I’m going grey, fast. I vote snow in denial of aging. As my kids grow so do I. They have birthdays and so do I. And while I don’t care about numbers or how old I become, I do care about the time I will never get back.
Think about that, seriously: the life you’ve lived to this point is eternally gone, forever; never to return except in memories or in a video or picture. We think we’ve “captured” it, but life is always the victor. It evades us every time.
Legacy Is Now, Not Later
One of the childish notions God is putting to death in me is the one that says tomorrow’s coming. There will be a day when tomorrow doesn’t come for me. I will die. What I have now is all I have. What I do now is all I can control. The way I face my responsibility today shapes me and forms me (that is not to say that God doesn’t reshape me when I am irresponsible with “today”, He does). The only thing I actually possess is the millisecond of consciousness we call “now” that keeps me aware of my life and humanity.
We live millions of “nows” each day, each year… These nows, when put together are our legacy and we can only shape them one at a time as they come. Ask yourself this question: what is the condition of my now and my nows? What is your legacy?
The Clock Is Ticking
I hate waking up before my alarm goes off. I’d rather be woken by it. The awareness that the clock is creeping ever closer to the moment when that annoying ringtone screams into the silence of the morning is ominous. I always grab my phone and check the time if I wake up before the alarm. It settles me and helps me choose either to fall asleep again or wake up.
Does it ever cross your mind, that in life, there are no phones to check in the middle of our lives? We know there is a life-clock whose second hand is always moving – like an unstoppable locomotive racing inevitably toward its predestined end. I can’t stop the clock, nor can I check it for how much time I have left. I can only see its effects in the mirror and in my physical abilities.
I told you earlier that checking my phone when I wake up early helps me decide whether to sleep more or wake up. I have accepted that 2015 is the year of the “wake up call” for me. I know I cannot check the clock of life the way I check my alarm. That very fact has helped me choose the consciousness of “now” (waking up) rather than the allure of the “later” I may never experience.
Not knowing when the alarm goes off for me makes me want to wake up now. What does it do for you?
You can’t unlive your life, but you can start living it. Take hold of the “nows” you have left and live them.