I sighed in frustration as I laid my book down. The chapter, Your Pressures: Reclaiming Peace, Rest and Contentment opened with these convicting words:
"If I were your enemy, I'd make everything seem urgent, as if it's all yours to handle... until you couldn't tell the difference between what's important and what's not.
... Life without any pressure wouldn't be what's best for us. But life with this much pressure ... that makes it feel like we might be wrong, or selfish... to enforce margin and boundaries in our schedule so that we can actually maintain enough time to be obedient to what the Lord has called us to do?"
As I turned off the lamp, I thought about how my word for 2017 was discipline and I still felt so far off the mark. I can set a goal like nobody's business but my distractibility, driven by fear, keeps me from faithfully following through. God had been stirring my heart to enforce the margin and boundary around the time I'd set aside to be obedient to what He has called me to do.
My typical response at this kind of crossroads would've been to strive– to promise to try harder and do better– only until I grew weary. Then I would switch to slip out mode– engaging in mindless activities to numb my sense of overwhelmedness, guilt, and failure. Thankfully, God has shown me an alternative– surrender.
Before drifting off to sleep, in the quietness of my heart I told Him, "We both know how easily distracted I am. I need Your help."
The next thing I knew, my eyes startled open. I found myself awake in my own bed after having the most intense dream. The confusion settled as my dream replayed with clarity. Driving. Dying. Falling. The most vivid, vibrant, beautiful and brillant setting. Dad and his words: two years.
You better believe the first thing I asked the Lord was to please clarify that it was not a reason to take out life insurance.
I didn't hear an audible voice, but it was as if in the quietness of my heart, the Lord reminded me, You asked Me for help. Live with the kind of focus you would if you knew you had two years.
Two years. Why two years?
Some of my dads last words were these: If you were to live with the perspective that today could be your last day on earth, what would you do for the kingdom of God?
These words have replayed in my mind often and have brought an eternal perspective to everyday life. Yet, a day is limited. There is only so much relationship and change that can happen in one day.
But two years is different. It's relatively short in light average life expectancy yet significant relationship and authentic change can take place in it.
Almost two years ago to this day, we overwhelmed with joy that #3 was en route.
From that moment until today, our little man has grown from the size of a blueberry to roughly the weight equivalent of a large watermelon. He walks, talk, explores and warms hearts everywhere he goes. He is completely loved and already loves so sweetly.
All in only two years.
Two years is long enough for seeds that have been sown can be grown. Light can pierce darkness. Truth can be shared. Organizations can be built. Connections can form. Relationships can grow. Closeness can be fostered. Lives can be transformed. There's time to sow and time to grow. Two years is short enough to live with urgency, intentionality and focus.
Our time on earth is short enough to live with urgency but long enough to complete the work that God has prepared for us to do. We must fiercely guard and invest in what has eternal significance.
How different would our focus be if we lived like we had two years to make a difference in the kingdom? I suspect we would use our numbered days to know Him and make Him known.
I would love to hear from you in the comment box below!
- What hinders you from living with urgency, intentionality and focus?
- In the next two years, what do you want to you sow and watch grow that has eternal significance?
Only by grace,