Our community lost another friend today. To cancer. We’ve said goodbye to two friends in less than 6 days here in my community. One to a tragic wreck, leaving behind 3 children and family and another to cancer….leaving behind 3 children, a husband and family. I read in our community paper that there was a suicide attempt in our community as well. I’m reminded there was a high school boy who lost his father to suicide the month before. And I didn’t event have to drive more than 5 minutes to get to any of these neighbor’s homes. That’s a lot of people gone before their lives were fully lived, don’t you think? That’s four friends too many.
Here’s why you need to keep reading. I think we are all asleep at this wheel called life and I’d like to propose we wake up. Stay with me…writers are compelled to write. It’s just in our blood. And so, this morning, as I read the news of yet another person’s life cut so tragically short, I’m thankful for the way God wired me because I feel compelled to share a few insights with you….
We are SOOOOOOO not in control. Funny, it’s the one thing we seem to fight and strive for, isn’t it? We crave security. We’ve demanded that builders give us these big homes with lots of spaces and fancy technology so we never have to open our door when someone knocks or talk to a neighbor or stranger when we wisk our cars in and out of the garage at the push of a button. We have money in the bank accounts to feel secure. We plan for retirement but we have absolutely NO idea when our last day on earth will really be. Can I nudge us to, dare I say, quote Tim McGraw and live like you were dying? Just a little? Can we be a little more present? Engaged? Step over our fears and go for that one thing you’ve been burning to do? Start taking those dreams into action? Not put off telling that person you are sorry…or that you forgive them?
Stop worrying about small stuff. Maybe this is just for me to read but I sweat small stuff. I’m getting better, but I spend a lot of time worrying about what team my children will be on, what scores they got on their test, if I’m getting wrinkles around my eyes, if I have a pair of shoes to match for tonight’s night out. I worry about what that room mom thinks of my class party idea or how spectacular my child’s party favors will be. (Okay, maybe not the last one because I forget about party favors every year.) Please listen to me…. we get ALL UP IN A TWIST about who’s doing what and getting what and making what…. and if you knew your life was going to be over next Sunday…….would you really care?
Remember you can’t take all that baggage with you. Friends…. we are so preoccupied with our “stuff.” And none of it is coming with you when your called into Heaven. None. Of. It. And your kids probably aren’t going to want to keep all of it either. Seriously, do you recall trying to put your claim on your mom’s Tori Burch sandals when she passes? I might be bold and bossy here…but I see the never-ending desire for stuff taking us away from living a truly joy-filled life. I haven’t been to Heaven but I’m pretty sure bags don’t fly free so if the strife and crazy schedule your family is enduring is so that you can pay for your “stuff”…. maybe this summer is a great time to simplify. What’s the point of adulthood running us into the ground because we have to pay the overloaded bills?
Last, but not least…let’s remember where our hope is. Our Hope is in how this all ends. Friends, this was not the world God created. If you haven’t cracked your bible in awhile- just go read Genesis 1 through Genesis 3… we live in a Genesis 3 state of being and it was never intended to be this way. So what do we do? Put our hope in God. Realize he’s in control and we’re not. Remember that he knows the end and put our faith in that plan. Give HIM the glory, the attention, the thanks….and our hope. Be thankful for today. Kiss your children. Greet your neighbor. Slow down. Prioritize eternal…not just for you, but for your kids.
Love deeply. Live deeply.