Tonight has been one of the longest experiences of my life. With only one hour of sleep, life with a newborn is a nightly reminder that time and rest are both precious commodities. Yet, as I spent hours consoling, rocking, and loving on this precious little one tonight, I couldn’t help but recognize how precious life really is. The truth is, 2020 has been a reminder that even the breath in our body is a gift from God. In addition to the daily news stories on pandemic woes and giving life to my seventh child, I am reminded of one thing, life is not to be taken for granted. From King Solomon to Jesus, the Bible confronts us with the reality that we have no control over what tomorrow brings.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1
Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34
Whether we like it or not, each us of must come to grips with the fact that none of us know the day or the hour we’ll no longer residents of this earthly home. For some, this truth is terrifying and leaves them with a sense of helplessness. The lack of control causes many to question the point of living to simply die. Yet, I believe this theme is recurrent in the Bible to give us wisdom and strength. When we recognize that the Lord holds our lives in His hands, we are served a daily reminder to walk in humility and given a warning to approach each day with intention.
My question to you today, if you knew today was your last day on Earth how would you respond?
Would you be more kind?
Would you forgive?
Would you spend time with those you love?
Would you seek the Lord?
Would you be full of regrets?
As strange as it may sound, I ask myself these questions often. In my silent moments, I ponder, “What do I want to be remembered for?” I question how my children will describe me to their grandchildren and what my friends would say defined my character. Time and time again the same three things come to mind:
I want to be known for being kind, being intentional, and being about my Father’s business.
As simple as it sounds, genuine kindness is not easy to come across. I have found that kindness is not just about being nice. The truth is anyone can be “nice” and do something for another person, especially when they think there is something to gain. Yet, kindness denotes sincere compassion and the choice to treat another person in a way that is honoring. This idea was so important that we see kindness alongside love, joy, and peace as evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us (Galatians 5:22). Kindness is an action word requiring us to speak, respond, and give unto others in a way that reflects His heart, even when it’s not easy.
I love the verse found in Proverbs 3:3 on this very idea.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
In other words, don’t leave home without it. Some versions of this same verse ask us to wear kindness as a necklace. This imagery reminds me of a shining diamond necklace that catches your attention from across the room. Our kindness is not to be tucked away but the first thing people encounter when they interact with us. So, although I often miss the mark, a life goal is that I would carry this compassionate care for those I encounter. Thus, if today were my last day on earth, I would know in my heart that I’ve done all I could do make someone feel loved.
Living a life of intention is something I think we should all strive for. Recently, I saw this firsthand with a friend. After mentioning that I wasn’t feeling well, she strapped her children in car seats and surprised me with a knock on my door within an hour. When I opened the door, she had a handful of freshly-made juices, teas, vitamins, and even essential oils to help me to feel better. She made the choice to be deliberate in her actions. And although, I’m not much of a crier, every time I think of this story, I get quite emotional. This same friend has taken my child to karate practices and helped to coordinate a baby shower for me during a pandemic. Surely, an intentional friend is a rare find.
Intentional living takes the focus away from us and seeks to take purposeful action to benefit another person. It sees others and asks, “How can I bless them?” Whether you make a choice to pray for someone, pay for their meal, go out of your way to do a good deed, a life of intention reminds people that they truly are loved. I believe this is what Jesus meant when he spoke to His disciples and said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” John 13:35.
The intentional friend helps.
The intentional spouse listens.
The intentional leader honors those who assist.
The intentional parent loves beyond the imperfections.
The intentional pastor prays.
It's clear that when we are intentional our actions reflect God’s heart towards us. Much like the good shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to search for the one who is missing (Luke 5:4). Those who are intentional are willing to do what it takes to show others that they are valued.
Being About My Father’s Business
As I think over my life, I know there will be plenty of mistakes. However, my prayer is that for as long as I live, I can be God-centered. Those who make a choice to let God’s plans be the priority are willing to abandon all to follow Him. The truth is His plans for us are not dull nor are we just robots awaiting our next command. I have found that following His voice for each moment is a joy and a privilege. What I have come to realize is that being about His business means there will be seasons when my personal plans need to be put to the side. For years, this used to be a source of irritation. I wondered, “Why can’t just run with the ideas I have as long as they’re good?” The Lord showed me that every good idea isn’t a God idea or the timing for our plans may be out of season. Living a life submitted to God’s will is not about walking through life defeated about what you can’t do but be empowered to do all He’s called you to do. I can assure you His plans for you will always exceed whatever you may ask or think! With God being the only one who knows what tomorrow brings, why wouldn’t we seek Him for every move? His infinite wisdom will guard us from poor choices and help us to walk through life with an assurance that He is looking out for us. May our hearts, our words, and convictions reflect His will not our own!
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Proverbs 90:12
Today, I ask you to reflect on your legacy. My prayer for you is that this is a gentle reminder that God is in every moment of every day. The very fact that you have breath in your body and the ability to read this blog is a reminder that your life has a purpose. May you run your race with intention, love, and focus on God’s perfect plan.
Be about your Father’s business.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
For more on living a life of everyday victory, I invite you to purchase the Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Amazon today by clicking here.