"What are you doing with what He gave you?" That is the post-it note I see first thing when I awaken each day. That is what I see when I am looking in my closet to figure out what to wear for the day. It is one of the last things I see before my head hits the pillow at the end of the day. It is something that I am constantly seeing, but I am wondering lately do I really read it? Absorb it? Reflect on it? Live it? I initially wrote it down when I was reading a book by Francis Chan & he was challenging his readers to make the most of what they have been given. To truly live & embrace life as the fleeting gift it is. "Making the most of every opportunity." Ephesians 5:16.
Why is it so easy for me to get amnesia about how precious each moment I am given is? Why is it that I don't truly grasp that this day could be my last? It is like I get glimpses of that truth & then it gets further & further away lost in the sea of dishes, laundry & to-do lists. I don't think I am the only one who forgets this certainty. If others, myself included, lived like this was true we would spend less time on our phones & Facebook & more time living with the people right in front of us. We would not be so quick to become unglued when our kiddos do something mildly irritating & completely age appropriate. We wouldn't get so frazzled when we were in line for gas at Costco & you see the truck with Canadian plates pull out 3 gas containers out of the back that also need fuel & you regret not changing lanes when you had the chance. Because now this means like an additional 10 minutes. In your car. Doing.nothing. Oh, the agony!
In all seriousness though why does it take a senseless tragedy or a diagnosis to make me hug my boys a little tighter? When I hear of devastating things that happen often my first thought it to shout " Eek! Why did I just spend an hour watching Parenthood on Hulu instead of reading my Bible or making snack bags for the homeless?! Why did I send my son off to school with a snarl rather than a snuggle? I tend to over think my past actions & wonder what in the world am I doing with my life? I am a mom. That is where I am at. I am not able to go off & serve in Africa right now. I am not able to leave my family every night to go & seek out people on the street who may not have had a kind word said to them in days. But, it is no excuse that I am a mom. I have countless opportunities that I am accosted with each day that could be abundant & meaningful & could have the potential to be life altering.
When a day goes from ordinary to tragic in the blink of an eye how do we live the rest of our days without taking them for granted? And is it possible to live in such a way when such a tragedy hasn't befallen you? Do the people that #yolo have it all figured out? Is there some additive that I can put in my morning cup of coffee that will remind me throughout the day that I can invite the glorious into the mundane & make each day count even if it is full of errands & poopy diapers? Can I have a "bad" mommy moment & choose to seek forgiveness from my tiny people & move on into a better moment without carrying the guilt & regret along with me?
Life is so hard. So messy & so short. It is also so beautiful & full & lovely. Sometimes there seems no way for my finite mind to comprehend how the two can coexist. How can I teach my children to embrace each day when I myself don't know how to go about it. I don't have all the answers, but I know that this life isn't a dress-rehearsal. I also know that each moment of each day we are presented with a choice. It is up to us what we do with those choices. I am thankful that even when the choices we've made previously were shroud in the cloak of amnesia that it is never too late to start anew & make the most of the next opportunity we've been given.