It Sneaks Up On You
This morning I woke up with a shock—one month! Suddenly the impending move is becoming real. You might wonder how something like that could sneak up on me, after all, I’ve know the date for more than a year, we bought the new house last August, and my father and son are living there already. How could it suddenly sneak up on me?
Part of it is that there have been so many other things to deal with:
• An onslaught of physical difficulties resulting in surgery and recovery
• Sorting through 23 years of memories in the house—really more than that because we’ve inherited “treasures” from generations before which me must evaluate as we prep for the sale.
• Trying to “finish well” at church, including the Lord laying on my heart a passion to elevate the Prayer Ministry to its proper level in our congregation.
My life has become a series of seemingly endless lists and deadlines. I finish one thing only to move on to the next, without a breath or pause. So, as we near the end of the list necessary to put the house on the market, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, in that light I suddenly see the end is nearer than I had previously apprehended.
How like all of life. We are born and after spending our childhood wishing to be older, pressing toward the rights and privileges of the “grownups,” we all too soon fall into the life of pursuits—goals, education, work advancement, child rearing, pleasure-seeking, accumulating things, achievements…so engrossed in these quests that we can become heedless to the passage of time, until one day we wake up to the fact that most of our lives are behind us, and the end is looming.
In a recent Facebook post, one of my friends wrote about the ways we use time, and asked the question, “Are you using your time wisely?” While the question is a vital one, something we should ask ourselves repeatedly because we will be accountable for it one day, the really impressive thing is this question was asked by a young man in his mid-twenties. I see good things for someone who is wise enough to evaluate life by this question at his stage of the game.
While my circumstances may have forced this mad rush to the end, and while there has been a blessing in the busyness because it has shielded my emotions from the sorrow of the losses to come, the regret I feel at the brevity of time that is left is that it leaves so little time for closure with the many people I would like to spend some time with before I go.
Again, the parallels to life in general are poignant. As we rush through life, are we attending to relationships in ways that don’t leave us with regrets when the end comes? Whatever stage of life we are in, it would be well for us to set aside a few hours to prayerfully evaluate if we are where we need to be in our lives. Are we balanced? Are our priorities straight? Are we taking time to savor? Is our drivenness just a symptom of a hidden desire to be in control? Would God desire us to make any course adjustments?
I believe if we regularly pause to evaluate, we will have fewer regrets when ends come—even the BIG one. And Scripture backs me up on that: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries