I strive daily to store up good things. I never love anything in halves. Like Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, it is simply in my nature to love in excess. I don’t like, I love. If there is a song I enjoy, I listen to it several hundred times until I can’t possible handle another measure. If there is a book I am engrossed in, I will deprive myself of sleep for days until it is finished. Balance has never been a strong suit of mine. My brother said my motto should be, “Moderation is for cowards.” Passionate is a word I would use to describe myself; excessive is probably a more accurate one.
Military life and distance from my family, from my husband, it greatly impedes my ability to love lavishly. I crave the ability to pour myself into and out for those closest to me. I long to show them that I love them. I long to be loved. I ache to fit every memory my heart desires into week long vacations and the few short months between deployments.
There is a time and a season for everything. But unlike the harvest, when we store for the coming months, time doesn’t give us that option. We simply cannot control or meld it for our purposes.
I can try to squeeze every moment of life into the time I have with the people around me, but in the end, it will probably just drive us all crazy. The sands of time drop slowly on. I cannot speed them up to make it count for me now because of what will be lost later. As much as I would like to drag my husband around Oahu, cramming in a year’s worth of bucket list items into a few short months, that’s not an option. And if it were an option, would it actually be best?
I am becoming more and more convinced that the answer is no. That our lives are not meant to be lived in desperately forcing and creating moments but with hands held open to receive what is passed on and to let go when it is taken.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34
Each day has enough trouble of its own. These words hit me somewhere deep within my gut. Knots form as I begin to look at the road ahead and the struggles I’ve watched friends endure. I strive to control my life and hope that this planning and striving will remove some of the sting of future pain.
In reality, I’m just robbing the joy today offers. I worry about my health, saving money, storing up memories, but tomorrow will have enough worry to fill it, I don’t have to borrow some today.
There will be good days, and there will be hard days. Wisdom is acknowledging the place that each day has in my life. To try to ward off future pain in the days of joy will only tarnish that memory. But when I hold my days loosely and trust that God will call me through each step, I find joy even in the sorrow.
I cannot control my time. I cannot save up my love or store up a year of memories in a few days, but I can take each day for what it is and enjoy the moment God has given me. Each days has its troubles but it also has its joys. Holding hands open, I smile in the moment, for that’s all I am promised. I don’t remain ignorant of the days ahead, but the courage I have is sourced from the joy He promises. The beauty of the Christian life is that we trust God will guide us through pain and through joy and bring us beside still waters to restore our souls.
We cannot store our time, but our Shepherd stands outside of it, guiding us along the path. When we trust in His care, we can laugh at the days to come, and see the joy in every moment.