Put a gun to my head and ask me,
“Quick! You’re three greatest weaknesses. Now!”
Time management would be in the top three. Hands down. No need for a recount.
I am easily distracted. I try to tackle too many projects at once. I abandon the mundane task ahead of me for the sake of something more interesting or creative or entertaining. As if that weren’t enough, I am selfish. And lazy. I squander the moments I am given on foolish self-interest to the neglect of the important matters of the heart. My husband’s heart. My children’s hearts. The Heart of God.
How far must He go to wake me up from this vain stupor and get me to pay attention to the life He has given me before it passes me by? I’m afraid the answer is horrific. He confronts my sin the same way He confronts all sin.
2011 has been a year where death has up and slapped me in the face like never before. Toward the end of last year, the young man that a friend of mine was courting died. Suddenly. In his sleep. With no apparent explanation. This was the beginning of a train engine of the news of death powering through my (still careless) existence.
My little Micah, thinking he should like to play with the fire truck toy that the children across the street had abandoned on the sidewalk, wandered into the street. His mama wasn’t there. Truth be told, I had no idea where he was, and was looking for him frantically. The man who might have otherwise run him over with his SUV stopped, got out, and plucked him out of traffic. He handed this terrified mother her little boy. A gift, redeemed, back from death.
Only a few months later, an old acquaintance from high school’s little daughter did the same thing. They buried her.
Why me, LORD? Why was I spared the heartache that she must endure?
The year went on. We buried my pastor. We buried my grandma. A friend’s father lost his battle with cancer. The hits keep coming, and I’m tired…
Being the contemplative type, and the closet theology nut that I am, I’ve done a great deal of mental wrestling with these issues of eternal significance that have been plaguing my mind–the unspeakable things that we assent to mentally but otherwise do our best not to concern ourselves with. I’ve been in a hospice care center and felt like I was in a burning building or a crashing airplane. And I feel that I must be crazy…or more sane than I’ve even been in my life.
And yet, as I ponder infinity and the lost and dying world around me, it is my own finiteness that I leave largely unconsidered…
Until I learn that this godly wife and mother, whom we have prayed for so long, is now absent from the body and present with the Lord. And I cry out to God, “She has babies!!” As though it could never reasonably be part of God’s eternal, holy, perfect plan for a woman with little children to leave them behind…
I am a mother. My oldest child is 7 years old. The past seven years of my life have flown by like a whirlwind. I have been so busy with mommy things–nursing babies and changing their diapers. Learning all there is to know about keeping them healthy, teaching them to behave, and educating them. Deciding on standards of modesty and picking out clothing. Bringing order to piles of books and sifting through bins full of toys. Lots and lots and lots of laundry. And meals. And dishes. Bedtimes and bath times and play dates and craft projects and cookies and temper tantrums and lost patience, and tears and band-aids and long snuggles on the couch on cold windy days. The stuff of life.
And to think, my little-big-man will be “all grown up” in only 11 years. Such a short time! I should be teaching him Spanish and Latin and piano and chess. So much to do before he will be ready for the adult world–for college, or an apprenticeship, or to start his own business. For marriage, and babies. Judging by how quickly the past 7 have come and gone, the next 11 will pass in no time flat–
And if I think eleven years is no time at all, what would I do with a diagnosis that give me 6 months–or 6 weeks–or 6 days? What if this very moment my soul should be required of me?
It exposes all my motivations toward “me time” and “getting away” and idleness as the selfish idolatry that they are.
So little time. Father, forgive me.
Forgive me, change me, wake me up! Make me no longer a time waster–
Make me a time redeemer.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the LORD is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
For the sake of Christ and the glory of His name,