I’ve been silent on this blog since July, 2016.
By pulling back from the blogging world, I always find freedom from the pressures that seem to creep in … who is reading, following, commenting, subscribing … and in the space I gain clarity.
In the meantime I turned 50. I’ll tell you, it wasn’t a momentous occasion in most ways, but something has shifted (besides my metabolism!). I told my husband it feels like my life has been a funnel. In early adulthood, I lived at the broad top – so many opportunities open, an almost overwhelming number of choices. The challenge to me at that time of life was figuring out what way to turn, you know, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” (Still working on that one!) In those early adult years I had room to make mistakes and try again. I could shoot at a target and miss. It felt like I could waste time. I had tons of it, after all.
As the funnel narrowed, I made choices and pursued certain paths. I became a mom. I settled in a city. We bought a home. I took certain job opportunities. I let other things slide. I said “yes” to some things, and each yes meant saying, “no” to many others. The points I passed by don’t have a “do-over” button.
Now, I’m at what feels like a mile marker. I probably have more years behind me than I have ahead. I’m at the point in the funnel where the hole narrows. I don’t have the luxury I had when I was in my 20s and 30s of trying things on, getting on the wrong track and turning things around. I need to make the time I have matter more than ever. What this means is that I want to hit the mark. I can’t really verbalize this well, except to say, all is grace, so I’m not trying to earn something through perfectionism. What I grasp more deeply than ever is the truth that my time here won’t be as long as I had once mistakenly seen it to be. I want to spend it well. Not to be known. Not to gain fortune. Just to do the most with what I have been given. I sense the truth expressed by the psalmist and the prophets. My days are like grass that will quickly wither. My time is like a shadow that lengthens and is gone. I don’t want the equivalent of buyer’s remorse when the shadow fades and the grass has withered and my opportunities are all memories.
Sobering thoughts. How should we spend this great gift of life?
The first question in the Westminster Catechism is “What is the Chief End of Man?” to which the answer is given, “to glorify God and enjoy Him all his days.” How we each work this out is very personal and unique. What I’m encouraging each one of us to do is to ponder that question and envision our own answer with God. How do I glorify You – to make You shown and known? How do I enjoy you? Help me, Lord, to use all I am and all I have towards this sweet purpose daily in the seemingly small details as well as the momentous.
So, my short list, for now, looks a bit like this:
- Don’t let my to-do list overshadow my “to be” list … and let my “to love” list supersede all else.
- Know myself well and only say “yes” to activities, work and ministry which line up with my calling and purpose. (Which doesn’t mean I don’t clean the bathroom floor or weed the garden or wash a dish, because, let’s face it, I never met someone with the calling and gifting for grunt work.)
- Spend more time in silence – slowing down to increase the space within myself where Jesus and I find more of one another.
- Be a blessing. Daily. Look for opportunities to pour out love.
- Step back. Make a habit out of being small.
- Count blessings. Grace drops are falling everywhere.
- Fear not. At all. Anything. Anyone. Because Jesus has totally got this whole thing and then some. He’s for me, with me and in me.
To be honest I feel a bit awkward writing a blog post after so long off line. I simply sensed it was time to reach out again and share what’s been brewing in my heart and mind during the silence.
I would love to hear from you.