Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. - Ephesians 5:15-16
How easily it slips away from us...When I think about "time," I always flash back to that certain hour of the day when I was a kid. Every day at noon, I anxiously waited for cartoons but right as they came on, Mom would change the channel. (Drats! No Looney Toons for me!)...Then, "La da da" (music playing) and a distinct voice, "Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives..." Mom's next few hours were dedicated to Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, and Another World....Soap operas. Some would say her afternoons were wasted (even she would these days) but maybe Mom made the most of her afternoons. She was entertained (there wasn't many alternatives in programming in those days), the laundry was done, and she crocheted trunks full of doilies, bedspreads, baby blankets, and afghans for our own home and for gifts.
So maybe time used wisely or otherwise is a matter of perspective...maybe. But there's one sure thing I know--it passes all too quickly. And wasted moments are moments that we can't get back. So those words of Ephesians carry far more weight when seen in the light of eternity. In years past, I could have been the poster girl for wasted time--for time spent unwisely... But God gives so much grace and in spite of my inadequacies, He still made the most of of every opportunity to turn my heart to Him every time I wanted to give up. For the past few years, I couldn't really show the world bushels of fruit for all my own futile efforts but He took my shards of broken glass and made a mosaic masterpiece. He put me together again.
So now is my time to make the most of every opportunity. I've begun this year with hopes, dreams, and plans galore. I'm so blessed and excited that the moments I have now are moments I want to dedicate to His purposes...to give back AND pay forward all that He has done for me...to re-establish or rebuild what was lost or wasted in past years...So I begin this year with a busy hectic schedule--that's nothing new. I've spent most of my life being "busy" with nothing to show for it. Too much time and too many memories are forgotten, lost in the chaos. So in all that God has before me now, I must choose each and every moment and make the most of it. I can't undo or regain the past but I made the commitment to begin now--to be careful how I live, to make wise choices with my time. And I'm learning that those wise choices begin with slowing down and taking stock instead of speeding up and becoming a cyclone of furious activity. My focus must be to finish well one task rather than leaving 10 hopelessly unfinished tasks behind.
In the past few weeks, it almost seems my life has begun new. A new perspective, a new home, a renewed mindset, a renewed mom-set, and a renewed ministry. AA programs often quote insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." So I think this year has to begin a little more sane and I've been making determined choices to make it so by doing some things differently. I'm in a new house but I can't make it a home until I'm know I'm done with the old one. Leaving that old house well is important to me at this point. This is the most positive and blessed move I've made, so I want it to be done in the right way. As anxious as I am to make this new house a home--to organize, paint, and decorate--I had to commit to leave the old one better than I found it. That may not seem a big deal to many but for me, it's important this time to leave a trail of blessing and good partings--footprints I don't mind being followed. And with the help of my precious son Andy, that has been accomplished. Needless to say, some things at my new house have been left undone thus far but that is what's ahead of me. I needed to stick to this one task and finish it well so I could look forward without looking back. It may seem strange to others but it's about so much more than simply changing houses. It's the beginning of a lifestyle. So yesterday (on schedule), I was able to shut the door of my old house one last time without regret or shame. It's a new feeling for me. I've closed far too many doors with regret.
Today, I'm looking forward to colors and paint, curtains and hard work, and the joy of seeing work done with my own hands and my own creativity as this house becomes my home--my sanctuary. But with all that work comes so much more... I look forward to family and friends, fellowship and fond memories, and a peace and contentment I've never known. There's a whirlwind of life ahead of me but I'm taking it day by day--pausing to make memories and enjoy the time God has given me. And each day, my time-wise choices begin with a few moments in worship and awe of a God who makes me brand new each day, and moments to rest and reflect on all that has been accomplished as I look forward to all that is yet to do.
What I have to remember is that I can hope for tomorrow but I must LIVE today. In another time and era, I sang a song for my mom one Mother's Day and I still hold its message close to my heart. So as I learn to live wisely, I pray these words always come to mind...
Hold tight to the sound of the music of living,
Happy songs from the laughter of children at play;
Hold my hand as we run
Through the sweet fragrant meadows,
Through the sweet fragrant meadows,
Making mem'ries of what was today.
We have this moment to hold in our hands and to touch
As it slips through our fingers like sand.
Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come
But we have this moment today.