Saturday, May 10, 2008

Once in a Lifetime

"Quick! Get the camera! This is a once in a lifetime moment! You've got to get that picture!"

My Dad, here for the weekend, was abuzz today with all that we did. Everything that the children did was priceless, worthy of a photograph. To me, his words sounded almost silly. These were everyday moments, moments I normally sit back and causally watch or not watch at all, truly. But my heart whispered, "He's right". How many times will you get to do just what you are doing today in these exact same circumstances? With these exact same people? Never. Life is a once in a lifetime experience. Every second is unique and individual.

His words echo in my heart tonight. "That's never going to happen again!", he'd say. How many times have I wished I could recreate something we did? Just to get a photo of it or to relive that moment again. One first date, one first kiss, one wedding, one first birth, one second birth, on and on. One. Where you are right this second, it's the only time you'll get to spend it. It makes cherishing my children more important. It also makes taking each opportunity to share the love of Christ with someone even more important. How many more chances will you get to have this conversation with this person in this situation? This is it. Now. Everything is precise. How then can we go about seizing the day? Of course, the Lord will lovingly guide us!

1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 19:
1Th 5:16
Rejoice always,
1Th 5:17
pray without ceasing,
1Th 5:18
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1Th 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.

This is how we should live our lives, moment by moment. Being thankful, filled with the spirit, joyful, these things matter because this moment is - gone. Live in the Spirit. Ask God to come into you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, to give you a song to sing and words to speak. And if you don't feel like it, ask Him anyway, because I have learned, that's when I really need it! :-)

The Lord's creation is continual - since the first day He made it. He has promised it will continue until He comes again. Gen 8:22 He is from everlasting and never slumbers. His words are true. Our earthly lives need to be seen with the perspective of finality. The earth won't last forever. Your body won't last forever. Your money won't last forever. Look around you. You are surrounded by temporal and eternal things - only the people in your life are eternal. They are going to last for the rest of eternity, they are not temporary. How you spend your time together matters. 1Cr 13:8 The words you speak, your countenance, your heart, they all impress upon this moment and the people you share it with - at the gas station, at the grocery store, while your children swim in the kiddie pool. The time that we get to share with them is brief. With some it's only an instant. Even with our children, the time is short. We are to bring them up in the admonition of the Lord, to teach them how to make wise choices and to obey Him. The best way for us to do that, is to do it ourselves. Even though they will always be my children, I've got 16 more years, tops! Suddenly that doesn't sound very long at all. (I've got some serious work to do!) Then, the seeds that I have planted in their hearts during our short time together will grow to prove what I have planted.

I can't tell you how many mothers of adult children have sincerely told me, "Cherish this time, it goes by so quickly. It seems like it's going to last forever, but then before you know it, it's over. And then you wonder, where did it go?" Each time they confide this to me, I know they are right. I know they are. It's true. Lord, help me to cherish every moment. Help me to seize each opportunity. To see them as a bubble, or a butterfly or a breeze - uniquely beautiful, fragile and fleeting. Things to be savored while they can, moment by moment. To live my life as a wide-eyed child, rapt with learning and wonder, rather than a dulled and bored adult. I am a child of the living God. 1Jo 5:1 I want to see the world around me with the wonder of a child! My Dad's got a favorite country song by Trace Adkins called, "You're Gonna Miss This". It's a hard song to listen to without crying because it's so true. He sings about cherishing each stage of life, because that's just what it is, a fleeting set of circumstances on their way toward the next stage. That we live our lives to get through them, not to embrace them. We live to survive this time, instead of savoring it, as if we have unlimited time. As if how we spend our life here on earth doesn't matter.

We do not have unlimited time on this earth. We each are like the mist that quickly vanishes. Like the morning grass that fades by evening. So, my heart bears these thoughts and recalls the words of Moses speaking the very Word of God, calling us to wisdom, too.

Psa 90:12

Teach us to number our days aright,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Grant me wisdom. Lord, may I make the most of these precious moments You have given me, no matter where I am. If I fail to savor them or thank You for them, then give me the grace to learn from them. May my presence, with Jesus in my heart, not be wasted. Amen.

Thank You, Father God, for all of the little "Once in a Lifetime Moments" we shared today. May I see them for the gifts that they truly are.

In Love,