The next few days will still have 24 hours, but they might prove to be even longer than usual. Our daughter left this morning on a class trip to Washington DC – halfway across the country. She put a great deal of effort into fundraising for this trip and now she is reaping the dividends from those efforts. She is very excited of course, but her Dad and I are experiencing some anxiety because our little girl got on a plane without us! Wasn’t she just a toddler yesterday?
When I reflect on the years that have passed since my kids were born, it is amazing how quickly the time has gone. There have definitely been days (and some nights) that I thought would drag on forever. But somehow those days turned into weeks, which have turned into years. Sometimes we cling to the memories of yesteryear as if we should be able to rewind and relive them. Other times we get so caught up in the future, that we forget it’s most important to live every day in the here and now. It’s fun to reminisce and remember good times from the past and it’s good to plan for the future, but we need to live completely in the present.
I am reminded of a quote I found when my daughter was an infant. It spoke so clearly to me then, and it continues to resonate with me now. “The days are long, but the years are short.” ~Gretchen Rubin. When my kids were infants and toddlers, even into their preschool years, I felt like I operated in two speeds: Running-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off busy or Dead-to-the-World exhausted! Things have leveled off a bit since they have gotten older, but there are still days when I feel like I bounce between busy and exhausted and it’s easy to miss what is happening every day.
I had the privilege of attending a Christian music concert, and during that concert I was reminded to “be present”. The musician warned us, “In our humanity, we’re all in danger of imagining a false reality for ourselves if we spend too much time dwelling on the past or too much time wanting things we think we don’t have…There’s freedom and serenity in just being here, being checked in and being OK with that.” (Chris Muglia, The Catholic Sun, March 19, 2015). It’s no wonder that the years go by so fast when we’re not fully present in the moments God gives us each day.
If you’re struggling with finances, job loss, loss of a family member, or just feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day busy-ness of life, it might put things into perspective if you look at the big picture and appreciate each day God has in store for you. When we take each day as it comes, we will have less anxiety, fear and worry about what the future holds and we can cherish the past, without trying to relive it. The truth is, we really don’t know what the future holds and it is useless to spend our time fretting over it and it’s just as useless to second guess the past. “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” ~Matthew 6:27
I’m still going to have a hard time over the next few days while my daughter is on the other side of the country on a field trip, but I also need to be fully present to the other members of my family who are still here at home.
“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.” ~Psalm 118:24