I have a deep appreciation for a countdown. I can remember counting down the days until a birthday party, counting down the days until school play auditions, counting down the days until Friday! My dad would gently (and very often) give me the same advice, when I would once again begin telling him about my excitement about the forthcoming activities. “Don’t wish your life away.” He told me it so often when I was younger that I find myself repeating the same advice over and over in my head (in fact I’ve probably mentioned this phrase before on the blog. Go figure.).
But there’s something so wonderful about the future that I find myself dreaming about the next steps, and how sweet it will be. I counted down the months until college. I counted down the days till I moved to Memphis. I counted down the hours until I jumped on a plane to go to South East Asia. It stands to reason then (embarrassingly), that I’m once again counting down, this time counting down till I take the leap to rejoin my family at home in America. I was never ungrateful for the time I had in the present (well…okay sometimes ungrateful) but I fought the fight to live in the present moment, to not take those sweet daily moments for granted.
For those of you who share similar struggles (or have ever had similar thoughts of “greener grass” at some point or other) you know the truth. It’s a battle, not to “wish your life away”. There are so many problems with living in the future, not the least of which is a discontented heart. It also can be unloving to the people you’re sharing your present with, after all, talking and thinking about the future reflects a heart that’s uncaring and unthinking about the people you’re with right now– and that’s not the person I want to be at all! So in order to compromise a mind that’s geared for the countdown, but seeking to make every moment count for the Glory of the Father, I’ll combine the countdown with a challenge (of sorts). Every month I’ll focus on a fruit of the spirit. We’ll start with Self-Control and work backwards, a reflection on walking in the spirit.
But as far as plans and ways to accomplish this – I was reminded by a good friend that this pursuit shouldn’t be done in an effort to earn the Father’s love or gain further acceptance. I am already loved just as much now as the Father ever has loved me and ever will (YES!). So there aren’t really any plans, just a hope and a trust that as I read and pr. and think about the fruits that the spirit brings about in our lives, He will accomplish His work and will grow me this year.
The Word talks about looking back on what the Father has done, and it also speaks to looking forward to the future in hope! Let’s do both faithfully this month, together!