Redeeming the Time…

It seems as if life is moving at a faster pace than ever.  Only a blink has gone by since my high school days and college years and early months of married life.  A mere fraction of the same has passed since each of my children was respectively growing inside of me, developing by God’s design until the moment of their formal introductions into this world.  I look at my reflection and wonder whether that little crease I see at the corner of my eye was there yesterday.  I pluck a coarse, silver wire from my scalp and will myself not to panic.  This is life, after all.

But with each concession that the world is indeed spinning and time is unfolding at an unforgiving rate, comes another realization.  I have no choice but to acknowledge that I am accountable for the time I’ve been allotted.  Every day—every moment—is a gift.  Every heartbeat is another chance.  Another opportunity.

When I first began my plans to launch a site such as this, it was not with enthusiasm.  I grew up with Commodore 64 and the simple stick controller for video games.  I loved my word processor, for it alleviated a lot of the headaches associated with the typewriter I had been previously accustomed to.  For me, that was advanced technology.  Now, here I am, typing this blog on my laptop, so that I can share it with whomever happens across it (I should confess that it was only through the aid of a good friend, and my children, that I was able to rise to even this level!)  Needless to say, I found this endeavor rather intimidating.

My apprehension has since given way to excitement, though, and here we are.  I’m slowly but surely embracing the benefits of technology, and the avenues available to me as a result.  Which brings me back to the crux of my musings.  Time sure flies.

My oldest child is a teenager now.  My second born will soon be one as well.  My third and fourth are gaining on them with every passing day.  Every passing moment.  I’m resisting, trying to keep them all young for as long as possible.  I ache for them to grow up slowly.  To embrace and absorb every God-given moment.

My younger brother died at the age of twenty-one years.  Moments surrounding the accident which ushered him into his eternal home are permanently ingrained in my mind.  Conversations I am certain I would have otherwise forgotten are now remembered as poignant.  Frozen snapshots of my past which transcend the haste with which everything else seems to move.

Sometimes I wonder whether God didn’t allow the painful events of that time in my history to accomplish something quite profound in my existence.  For now, you see, in spite of the rush of the world and the almost maniacal demands of the same, I consider it a blessing that such a difficult event was used to teach me to embrace the seemingly insignificant moments in life.  In fact, I am now of the opinion that insignificance has little place in a world where God is God and I am His.

God, in His mercy and infinite love, allowed me to hear for the first time via sonogram, further evidence of the existence of my first child, on the very day my younger brother would have turned twenty-two had he not passed on.  And as I pause to close my eyes right now, I can still hear my unborn daughter’s heartbeat, quick and strong and healthy, attesting to God’s sovereignty.

Two years later, I was in the hospital again.  I was being prepped for the delivery of my second child, when we received the call.  My dear uncle had succumbed to the cancer which had been draining his life for months.  God, in His gentleness, allowed my son to be born shortly afterward, another sweet reminder of his attentive compassion to His children.

Now those moments, one may argue, are far from mundane, but I nonetheless doubt I would have absorbed the wonder of the experiences had God not sharpened my perception with the accompanying heartache.  But what of the completely normal, routine occurrences?  Was God speaking to me through those blinks in my history?  How much more might I have missed if the lesson of seeking His gifts in the fleeting moments—the moments sandwiched by busy schedules or other distractions—had not been indelibly entrenched in me through the living of such heart-wrenching tragedies?

There was another time—a time not surrounded by tragedy, but nonetheless made more poignant by those reminders that every moment is to be treasured.  I was having a conversation with my third child.  She was sharing with me her dreams for the design of her bedroom when the day came for us to transition from the apartment where we currently reside.  She loves to plan, and sketch the possibilities.  I was busy, working on one of my books, nodding from time to time as I continued on with my task.  Suddenly, I felt convicted.  My writing could wait.  I turned the fullness of my focus onto her.

It was one of those moments when, as I watched her blue eyes alight with with the thrill of imagining, and the joy of having her mother’s undivided attention, I was struck with the fact that God had given me this moment with my daughter.  Another chance to listen to her dreams, and to encourage her.  A moment to ponder in my heart for future recollections.  The God of infinity had given me another precious gift.

My fourth child is a prayer warrior.  One particular evening, I was snuggling with her as she offered her bedtime petitions to God.  I was awed by the transparency in her requests.  There were a few self-focused lines in the beginning, but by the end of her utterings she was content with whatever God decided would be best.  She faithfully articulated all of her burdens, and then she left them there, as if, whatever happened, the matter was as good as settled.  I am still humbled when God reminds me that I should always come to Him as a little child.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention my husband of sixteen years.  From the moment we met, and through the ups and downs of married life, there have been many God moments.  Moments which, had I been fastened on the mere so-called highlights, I might have overlooked.

I think, for example, of a New Years’ Eve.  Our children were young, so we had an early celebration with family.  We were on our way home long before the midnight hour.  The kids were cranky, and Randy and I were tired.  Randy was weaving along on the otherwise deserted road, as he attempted to scold the kids via the rear view mirror.  I encouraged  him to commit to a single lane of traffic, and he clipped that he was doing just fine.  It was at that moment that the police lights were activated, indicating that we were to pull over.  When the officer reached my husband’s driver-side window, he said, matter-of-factly, “I guess you know you were weaving back there.”

I was laughing, and the officer leaned further in, observed the still unsettled children, the hysterical wife, and added, “But I can see you have your hands full.”  And with that, the policeman left.  I was reminded to seek joy in even the most unlikely places.

Moment after moment, instant after instant from my past marks my present.  God is so good to me!

I suppose that the thought I’d like to leave you with is this.  Yes, time is moving by quickly, but if we allow God to work in our lives, He will.  So whether it’s reaching out to others, letting others minister to you, or simply being still and knowing God is who He says He is, don’t let life pass you by without absorbing the God moments.


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