By: Ginger Hughes
As a mom, there have been moments where I truly wanted to stop time. Moments so special and so sacred, I didn’t want them to end.
Moments where the slight weight of my newborn daughter was cradled in my arms and the moonlight drifted through the cracks in the blinds providing the softest glow on her baby skin. Moments where I tickled my rascal of a little boy until his eyes shone with pure joy and delight, as we both rolled on the floor, laughing uncontrollably.
During these moments, I wanted to press a pause button, to hold time back, to stop it long enough to take the moment in, but in deference to my wishes, it ticked steadily forward.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about time and how short life is.
Sometimes I look into the eyes of my grandmother and reflect on the fact that years ago, she was a young girl riding her bike and playing in the dirt. I look at her and know she was once a teenager excited to be going on a date with a young man. I see her and realize that there was a time as a young woman when she was getting married, having babies, and chasing children. I look into her eyes and understand there were years spent throwing balls, helping with homework, and cooking supper.
I look at her and wonder, did she ever think it would go by so fast?
You hear people say all the time to, “Cherish every moment,” but honestly, I’m not so sure that should be our primary goal. Certainly, we should cherish our moments, but perhaps an even greater aspiration is to make our moments count.
This sounds like a lofty pursuit doesn’t it? Can we really make our moments count? We can if our primary purpose in life is not our own pursuits, but rather, God’s mission. We’ve got to figure out what really matters along this journey, and I’m thinking it is probably not what we often imagine it to be.
Think about it. How often do we pursue one more purchase for our too stuffed houses and our too stuffed closets, all while there is one more child in need of food or clothes? How often do we cram one more activity into our too crammed schedules, while one more person sits alone in the nursing home, and one more sick friend silently waits by themselves in the waiting room? How often do we pursue one more vacation, one more dollar, and one more retirement account all in the quest for the abundant life, while one more soul, desperately in need of light and hope, sinks further down into darkness?
Perhaps an abundant life is exactly the opposite of what we often envision. What if abundance is a life of giving away rather than collecting more, a life of denying self and accepting others, a life of loving God but even more importantly, sharing His love with each person we meet?
The fourth chapter of the book of James reminds us that our life is, “…A vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” So why do we spend so much of our time chasing after stuff rather than chasing after God?
I want my life to count for something; something deeper than myself, my work, and my stuff. I want it to count for something bigger than my small world. A life lived for God is truly the only way to an abundant life.
The time will fly. If we are blessed with a long life, we will look back and wonder how the time went by so quickly. And all of the “things” that seem so important now will be mere shadows in the distance slowing fading from view.
The question that will remain is what did we do with the time that was entrusted to us? Who did we serve along our way? Who did we help? Who did we love? Did we shine the light of Jesus into the darkness of this world?
You see, I don’t really think we need time to slow down. I don’t think we need it to stop. I think we simply need to make what time we have count.
-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.