The other day it was a warm spring afternoon and I went out on our trampoline in the yard with my five year old. I was just laying there on the trampoline, eyes closed, absorbing the sunshine. My five year old was rolling around, stopping every couple minutes to come and cuddle up with me before he got restless again and rolled some more. And I had this thought, “Am I living in the Before?” “Before”, that time period that comes before the storm, before the flood, before the tragedy, before the war. That time that we look back on and say, everything was great, Before…
I saw a meme yesterday that brought this all back to mind. A young girl saying, My life will begin when I grow up. A young woman saying, My life will begin once I get that promotion. An older woman saying, My life will begin after I retire. And then the final picture, the woman on her deathbed, wondering where her life went.
All of these things point to the need to live in the present. Today. This is the day that the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Today.
I am very guilty of getting caught up in the future. Just have to make it through this season then it will be better. Just get this last kid potty trained, then life will be easier. Just need to get through this school year with the kids. Just need to get through this summer break. Just need to get this kid graduated. And I totally lose track of the fact that today is what life is about. Not tomorrow. Today I am a wife and a mother. Today I am a friend. Today I am a child of God. Today is something to be celebrated. We’re alive! We’ve got opportunities all day long to show love to other people. Right now I can talk to God, worship him. Right now I can serve the people around me. Right now I can notice the earth around me and be thankful for it.
I don’t know what the future holds. I just read a news article from a mainstream media site talking about the fact that nuclear war is becoming a real possibility again. And stuff like that can send you over the edge into despair and worry and fear. I think about the everyday people in Ukraine who perhaps are thinking about the Before times in their lives. Longing to go back. People in my own country that just survived mass shootings. People who just surived tornados. All thinking of that Before time.
As a Christian I look forward to Jesus coming back. Come Lord Jesus, Come! Come bring an end to all this suffering and pain. But when he comes back, if I am still alive, I want to greet him with confidence. Yes, I took every day that you gave me and lived it fully. I delighted in you daily and sought to do the work you gave me, daily. I did not bury the talents you gave me because I was afraid, but I used them to the fullest.
I think using our talents to the fullest is not this big complicated thing we make it out to be. It’s simply living, present, engaged, listening to the Holy Spirit moment by moment as we savor the day that is around us.
Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
We serve Christ today. Not tomorrow. We serve by going through our ordinary day doing our ordinary things with joy and thankfulness. We reach out to the people that are around us. Share kindness and hope. Today. Not tomorrow. This is our Before. Before Jesus comes back. Let’s live this Before as fully and joyfully as possible.