Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life

Lately I've been feeling awfully blessed, like we're somehow in God's favor. I am both humbled and grateful. I find myself thankful for so many things. In today's crappy economy, my husband has a job which he loves and that pays our bills. We're not going to appear on the cover of Fortune 500 anytime soon, but we have enough to get by right now. Four months ago we took a big chance by leaving a steady source of income and moving back to New Jersey for something better... and it panned out. Friends generously offered their home to us so we could stay somewhere until we get back on our feet. We have a beautiful son, who is not only healthy but relatively "low-maintenance". We have wonderful, loving, supportive extended family.

We are blessed.

I hear or read almost daily about so many tragedies: plane crashes, natural disasters, infant loss. It's hard not to see an abundance of suffering in this day of mass media and the Internet. Sometimes I am overcome with appreciation for all that I have. Sometimes I grumble about the most minor annoyances and lose perspective.

I am more and more aware every day that I live in a fallen, broken world. So much devastation everywhere as a result of people's sin, mistakes and poor choices. I am definitely not without my own share of faults and transgressions. Yet God still sees fit to pour His blessings on me. I am so unworthy. But He loves me anyway. Thank you, Lord!

With all the things I could complain and worry about, I should be making the decision to live a life of gratitude instead. It's admittedly so easy for me to focus on the things I don't have and those things that bother me. It has been bumming me out lately that, for instance, I don't have a vehicle of my own yet and have to rely on others for rides or wait until the weekend when Gregg isn't working. It makes me wish I didn't take for granted when we actually did have a second car.

I guess the bottom line is, I don't want to live my life thinking about all the things I either don't have or that I think could be better. I don't want to waste my life that way. There have been so many time periods in my nearly thirty years where I've thought, "If only I had such and such" or "When I reach such and such an achievement or age" (then everything will be good). And instead of truly enjoying whatever season God has me in, I just always look ahead to "when things will be better". Then without fail, I look back and wish I had appreciated where I was at the time. Oh, the irony.

When we first got married, I couldn't wait to own a house. Then we moved to Florida and bought a house, but I still didn't have a baby. So I was discontent. Then I had a baby, but I didn't have a house anymore because we lived in PA. Discontent all over again.

So now I am deliberately choosing to appreciate what I have while I have it. So I won't look back with regret. Up until very recently, I was struggling to figure out why God would have allowed us to make so many moves in the last few years when we didn't "find or get what we were looking for" in those places. But I've learned that God doesn't bring us to places; He brings us to people.

We touched a lot of lives and were touched as well in return, because we chose to heed God's calling or leading to move. There are so many people that we were and are blessed to know. I cannot imagine not having ever met them, even though things supposedly "didn't work out" either in FL or PA with regard to Gregg's jobs.

When I look at my life through that kind of lens, nothing I did was in vain. It wasn't a waste. Many people have come in and out, some I knew only very briefly, others for several years. I think of them when I hear a certain song on the radio, or see someone that resembles them. We had to go our separate ways for various reasons, but I always think about the way that God used them to touch my life, even in the smallest way.

1 comment:

Angelarae said...

I love this post.
I actually posted something relatively similar on my blog yesterday as well.
I think want is something we ALL struggle with - I know I do - a LOT. Want, followed by worry.
I think we all need to make a conscious choice to be happy with what God has given us. That doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for more, or to be better, but having a content heart is a good place to start. Thanks for the reminder :)