"Don't wish time away.” These four simple words, spoken offhandedly by one of my professors, woke me up to quite an obvious and urgent concept.
Today’s stress and sorrow can often push us to long for the weekend, for nicer weather, for spring break, for a few years from now when life will surely be perfect. The biggest relief is finally reaching Friday; we live for the glorified weekend as the weeks quietly crumble away into months, years, and entire life stages.
I’ve been completely guilty of this. I’ve caught my mind living in the future so many times it’s sickening. In the middle of a day just as undeserved and mercifully gifted to
me as any, I discard its potential beauty and wish time away, longing for days to come.
What exactly is it we’re rushing towards? The next stage, the next step, the next achievement. More comfort, less to do, more happiness. But when we arrive, let’s be honest. . . it’s never enough. Before long, we’re dreaming of the next change.
Focusing on the future can seem fun and harmless in the moment- but when it becomes a consistent mindset, the consequences are horrifying.
I Was Dying
First, I was dying to finish high school and start college.
And then, I was dying to finish college and start working.
And then, I was dying to marry and have children.
And then, I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school.
And then, I was dying to retire.
And now, I am dying ...
and suddenly, I realize I forgot to live . . .
How terribly remorseful it must be to face death and realize you rushed through the few years you were given. In reality, our days are not many. Life moves fast without any extra prodding. So where's the hope? How can we ever escape from this reckless race?
1. Ask God for wisdom in realizing your life's brevity:
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.”
2. Find joy in simple things. When I posted a question on Facebook asking about when you really feel alive, many of the responses mentioned the most uncomplicated, living-in-the-moment things: being outside, enjoying the sun, biking, stargazing, running, making snow angels, quality conversations, and gardening. It is when we commit to living in the moment, capturing the full delight of the smallest blessings, that we can feel relaxed contentment with where life is for now.
3. Give of yourself to others. A majority of the comments also mentioned the fullness found in helping others. Living and striving for your future and how it can serve you is selfish. Serving others, even in the smallest, most random ways, is the exact opposite of this selfishness. Embrace God’s will for your every single day and keep your eyes open for ways to give of yourself to others. This kind of a lifestyle will bring bountifully more satisfaction and meaning than any other.
Hear this: don’t wish time away. Don’t let yourself dwell in an idealized future. Embrace each day for the beauty found in it and the beauty your God-inspired service can add to it. It’s moment by moment, day by day. That’s when and how God moves.
Hello! I'm Anna, a college student living in the Midwest. I'm a strong believer in uncontrollable laughter, powerful words, and a morning cup of coffee. I pray these posts will encourage you to live a full life with and for God: unhindered. Look forward to new posts every Monday morning!