Thursday, June 3, 2010

You're Going to Miss This

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow."
James 4:13

I rarely listen to country music, but occasionally as I move up and down the dial on my minivan radio, I will hear something catchy and tune in. It happened the other day that I hit a country station playing a song about a girl who couldn't wait for her next dream (phase of life) to come to fruition.

First, she wanted to get out of high school and move out and be independent. Then she wanted to move out of the one bedroom apartment and get a house with her husband and start a family. She was ready then for those little ones to not be so little and needy. At each phase someone in her life told her, "You're gonna miss this."

I have to confess that I was a crying mess by the end of the song. There is something about hearing a message in a song that cuts right to the heart. I may have heard the same words again and again, but put it to a melody and the emotional impact is something like a thunder storm instead of a gentle rain. Music speaks directly to my soul.

Lately I have been ready for that next phase of my life. Even though I enjoy my two year old Levi immensely, I get tired and I think, "Oh, it will be so great when I don't have to....," or "when he can finally....." Life will be this wonderfully easy fantasy. And even though I love my teenagers too, I have been longing for that day when they look at me and say, "Mom, you were so right! Mom, you did a good job of teaching me this and I'm sorry I fought you at every turn. Thanks for not letting me get away with everything."

I have been letting the thoughts of tomorrow steal some of my joy from today.

Jesus told me not to borrow trouble from tomorrow and I don't want to add to His words, but I can lose some of the blessings of today if I daydream too much of tomorrow. God certainly made me to dream and to imagine what things could be and it would be a sad and lackluster world without dreams. But, sometimes what I am doing is not really a planning, dreaming thing as much as it is a fantasy or a "get me out of here" kind of thing. A real God dream isn't just the end product, but involves the hard, hard steps of getting there.

The dream of a college education, for instance, doesn't come to fullness without applying to college, going to classes, studying for exams, and sacrificing a lot of time and money. Part of really dreaming of what God might have for you involves making a plan and beginning to follow it and then adjusting the plan as necessary to see it to the end.

Fantasy, on the other hand, never involves hard work or sacrifice or effort, it is just all going to be "better" because it is tomorrow. Somehow everything will be easier just because. I have not lived that long, but I know this: things don't just get easier. If I am experiencing improvements in my finances, it is because God is blessing the hard work and energy put into bringing in an income. Good results don't just happen, there is a definite cause and effect.

I have no idea what the next moment holds, it may be the worst thing I have ever faced and not the easy peezy lemon squeezy time that I have been imagining. So I will live in this moment with these children God has given me, with the husband I have, with the means we have, and enjoy it. Maybe some thankfulness and gratefulness are in order. Maybe I need the blinders of fantasizing about tomorrow removed, so that I can see the beautiful reality that is in today. Maybe, just maybe.

You're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back;
you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast.
These are some good times, so take a good look around,
you may not know it now, but you're gonna miss this.