i want you to stop

"You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."
-James 4:14

This is probably going to end up being one of the most generic posts I've ever written, but I just have to. If it's only to remind myself and stir up some kind of ability to live in a way that this is truth, then honestly, that's enough for me. The chance that one person might read this and realize how much they've taken for granted, and make a change, that's enough. I had this moment yesterday, walking through my office, that literally stopped me in my tracks. All the sudden, I was painfully and fully aware of how much I allow myself to float through life. To slip into auto-pilot. To just go through the motions. I know I'm a pretty highly-emotional person, but it almost brought me to my knees right there. I stood there, struggling to remember at what point I had stopped trying. Was it a couple of days ago? A week ago? Longer? How many opportunities had I missed? My heart sunk as I realized I couldn't remember when I'd shut it off. 

It's so easy to do, that's the scary thing. I don't remember struggling with it as much in college, because your schedule changes pretty regularly, and you have all this free time to spend with people and do things. It definitely still happens. But now, in the adult world, where I wake up at the same time every morning, drive the same route to work, do the same thing for 8 hours, drive home, and usually end the day on the couch with J, I think I felt somewhat like auto-pilot was what was supposed to happen. Like, that's just the way you do it. But I don't want to live on auto-pilot. Just because life can get a little monotonous sometimes, doesn't give me a free pass to take it for granted. Because when I choose to live my life that way, all checked out and non-involved, that's what I'm doing. Taking this precious gift for granted. 

A precious gift that has the consistency of a mist, at that. I've experienced all too closely the fragility of life. And yet, I so easily forget that I am not invincible. So I flit my way through the days that I should be closely cherishing, that I should be making the absolute most of. I spend hours day dreaming about the future, when it's not even something I'm guaranteed. And I take for granted a blessed, full life that others would give anything to have. I never want for anything, I am healthy and loved and full of life. Yet every morning I drag myself out of bed and do the same ole' thing I did yesterday with the same excitement level as a snail. A couple of weeks ago, I read this beautiful blog post by deceased blogger Sara Frankl entitled "Please Don't Miss It". Sara was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, and lived for 15 years in constant excruciating pain. She kept a blog, regularly updating about her condition, and more often, about her attitude. Sara passed away on September 24, 2011, but she left behind a legacy of trying to get people to live their lives. She wrote "Please Don't Miss It" on her last birthday. This line sums it up fairly well, but I really encourage you to go read at least this post. I'll be genuinely shocked if you don't get sucked in and end up reading her whole story. The entire thing moved me to tears, but especially this line stuck with me.

"For my birthday, I want you to do something for you. I want you to STOP. I want you to FEEL and SMELL and ACKNOWLEDGE the gifts that God puts out for you every single day when He make the sun rise from it's slumber and beat down on your skin. I want you to look up at the dark of night and see and feel the magnitude of the heavens and the full moon that I can't see out of my windows."

This life is not only a mist, it is an unexplainable blessing. Now go live it fully.

1 comment:

Shane said...

Wow, every post I read of yours leaves me speechless. So very inspirational.

xo Shane