I live in the world of now-right in my face, every day. It is easy to spend my time looking back at was or ahead at what might have been. Things that I enjoyed; cooking, dancing, hiking or that I once did with ease that now are neglected from the stack of unwashed dishes to the unfinished craft project or things I thought would always be my future; a Master's Degree, summers in my vegetable garden, adventure travel.
So, last week on one of my dark days when the pain was winning, my insurance denied me visits with my counselor (these posts may just get nuttier now that I won't have him around to keep me sane), and I was just deeply bored with day after day at home; my dad stopped by for one of his regular 'housecalls.' I was too sick to be out of bed, so he had to climb over magazines and books on the floor, a big pile of dirty laundry, and other assorted junk so he could sit and visit with me. Several times I apologized for the mess and finally he looked at me and said;
"Worry about what's in here (pointing at his chest), not what is out here (pointing at my messy room)."
Such wise words--they brought a quick halt to my internal tape of guilt, embarrassment, and regret over how my house could be or should be. My dad was here to spend time with his daughter--not judge the state of my room or my perceived 'failings.' And, wasting time over some sort of never ending tape loop of old movies and future musing is simply that, a waste of my precious time.
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is the 'live by faith' chapter, as testified to by a listing of famous folks from the Old Testament. I've heard sermons on this famous chapter over the years that focused on the great things each of these people did for God. Thinking about it now, I realize that these talks reflect a philosophy of measuring ones life by what one accomplishes. This past week the thirteenth verse popped out at me, saying that none of the people were given what they were promised by God-the measure of their lives came from eternity. In a sense the message in Hebrews 11:13 is the same as what my Dad told me--the internal world instead of the external--not what I have done, should do, might do, or want to do--How am I living my life today-do I have joy-do I have faith-do I focus on the many wonderful things that are in my life today and eternally or do I waste time living with bitterness and regret.
Wise words from my Dad and my favorite book--now it is up to me to live them.