I’ve spent much of my life “living for when.” These words grabbed my attention. “…For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” James 4:14).

As a young journalist covering an event for the local newspaper, I heard a speaker sharing her experience as a busy mom who was “living for when” until she gave her life to Christ. I’ve forgotten the speaker’s name but I remember the message.

“Living for when” had been my approach to life for most of it. As a little girl, I lived for when I’d finish high school…when I’d start college…when I’d launch a career…when I’d marry…when I’d have children.

I continued living for when…when the children started school…when they graduated…when they entered college…when they finished…when they married…when they had children.

Looking back, I missed much by being distracted, always focusing on the future, never fully engaged in the present.

Even during family time—watching a movie or playing a game—I’d let my mind wander to the load of laundry that needed to go in the dryer before bedtime or the hectic schedule starting early in the morning.

The children grew up, finished college, married, moved away. It all happened in a moment.

If I had the opportunity for a do-over, I’d stop peeling potatoes, go to my daughter’s room, and listen fully as she practiced a solo for church. I’d lay down the dish cloth and focus fully as my son plucked out a new song on his guitar.

I miss the sounds of music. I miss that precious phase of our lives that passed like a vapor while I drifted through the days preoccupied with the busyness of tomorrow.

If you’re doing that, hit the pause button. Change the way you’re doing life. Don’t waste it living for when and missing the moment. Do today well.

Planning and organization are essential for a productive life, but the people in our lives deserve priority.

Planning and organization are essential for a productive life, but the people in our lives deserve priority.. Click To Tweet

Thankfully, my children remember many sweet family experiences. Maybe they didn’t notice their mom was so distracted.

I don’t get a do-over. But I can encourage you to listen to the voice of experience. Don’t become so goal-focused that you can’t be present in the moment.

The Psalmist David observed, “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more” (Psalm 103:15-16).

Ah, but legacy remains. Keeping legacy in mind gives meaning to this day. Moses, the author of Psalm 90, said, “So teach us to number our days, and we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (verse 12).

Keeping legacy in mind gives meaning to this day. Moses, the author of Psalm 90, said, “So teach us to number our days,that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (verse 12). Click To Tweet

Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:33-34).

I don’t know the author of this, but the message impacted my life. “This is the beginning of a new day. I can waste it or use it for good, but what I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for. I want it to be gain and not loss; success and not failure in order that I shall not regret the price I paid for today.”

Have you ever found yourself living for when? Please leave a comment. And I’d appreciate your sharing this with your friends.

© Dianne Barker 2020

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