Wednesday, March 4, 2009

live in the now

I went to the wake of a friend today. She was the 40 year old mother of 4 kids under 10. She was recovering from a heart valve replacement. She was healing from that, but caught a virus and died very suddenly this weekend.
While her surgery was major, no one expected her to die. She'll have her surgery, we'll help out with meals and rides for a while and then everything will get back to normal. She will get through this and then start living her life again.

Instead, she died.

I have been thinking about my attitude about life and how God has adjusted it a lot lately, and this has really driven the point home to me. (I hope I stay on topic and make sense.)
Here goes:

"Live in the now!" is something that I say to my friends a lot. Usually it's when they are talking about losing weight- they aren't going to buy new clothes or shoes or something until X amount of weight is gone. I always joke that they have to "live in the now". If you need new clothes get them, because I'm sure they don't want to be naked, especially with those extra pounds.

Well, God has been showing me that those words apply to all aspects of my life. Before we got on God's plan about kids and how many we would have, while I wanted and loved my kids, I always viewed raising them as something to get through so that what I really wanted to do could be done. I was living for a future that I was planning and missing out on the pleasure of the blessing of the job God had given me to do today. I always had these grand plans of what I would do, what I would be, just as soon as I was finished with this raising kids deal. I looked at my kids and felt like they were something I had to get done so my "real life" could begin. How much time did I waste, how much beauty did I miss, because I was just trying to get it done?

James 4:13-17
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

God has changed my heart. He gave me a new attitude. My life is but a mist. If God has put me here, in this moment, in this house, with this family, I will do it to God's glory.

Verse 17: Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

I was not doing the good I knew I ought to do. I was doing good enough for now, until MY LIFE began. I was sinning.

Everyday God gives me the grace to handle all of the tiny little annoyances that can drive a mother nuts. When I just try to "get through it" on my own power, I fail miserably. When I rely on God's strength and live in HIS now, I am blessed.

Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

My friend is gone. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. We need to be doing all the good we know to do, and do it to His glory.


Nancy said...

Thank you for this beautiful reminder. Seeing myself as a "mist" certainly puts a lot into perspective. Oh how grandiose my plans are at times :)

I have been feeling so much fear lately - every time I enter this state it is a statement to God that He is not doing His job. It's like I go into automatic pilot and forget that He's got it, even when it appears He doesn't.

I love reading your uplifting posts. Please keep them coming.

Cindy said...

We had a dear friend who just had this very surgery last week! I am so sorry about your friend's passing. I will keep her family in my prayers during this difficult time. You are so right - all we have is the "here & now". We need to make the most of it! I try to make lovely memories for my children so that when the Lord does call me home, they have those special memories to hold on to.

Matthew and Amanda said...


I am so sorry for your lose. Thank you for reminding us the importance of living in the now.