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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wastin' Away

People who grew up with me know that I used to be a serious swimmer. I swam competitively, year-round, from the time I was eight years old right up through my senior year of high school. To this day, I can walk into the YMCA, or any place with an indoor pool, and the smell immediately evokes years and years of memories.

Like it was yesterday, I can remember the stomach butterflies before swimming in a big meet, the joys of winning a blue ribbon, the tears when I bombed out or let my team down in a relay.

One night last week was a huge milestone for me… I attended my first swim meet as a parent. My seven-year-old Madeline swam in her very first league meet.

It was almost a surreal experience… standing on the side of the pool listening to the spectators and her teammates scream “Go Madeline, Go!!” After her event, I watched her high five the coach and I heard those coveted words, “Good swim!!”

In 25 years, none of it has really changed. The feelings, the lingo, the sound of the starting gun, the flags for the back-strokers, the junk food at the snack bar. As Solomon put it: there’s nothing new under the sun.

I came home that night and I couldn’t help but reflect on all this and consider how fleeting life is. In the blink of an eye, I’ve gone from being the swimmer to being the mom cheering on the side of the pool. Before I know it, Madeline will be the mom on the side of the pool.

As the Word tells us, our lives are but a vapor. We’re here one minute and gone the next. Life is short. It’s too short to waste.

Just a few years ago, Dan and I had some pretty un-lofty goals for our life together. Two kids, nice house, private schools, vacation home and retire in style. We planned to live comfortable, safe, prosperous lives. We knew the Lord and we loved the Lord but in so many ways, our lives did not reflect Him. We were not surrendered to His plans for our lives -- we wanted things our way and on our terms. We wanted God's stuff more than we wanted God.

I realize now what a terrible waste that all would have been.

Please know that I say and I write these words with the utmost humility. I do my best to look up, instead of looking around me, and not to judge others. Because I know that every Christian walk will not look the same. I know that Believers are called in different ways and for different purposes.

But, at the same time, I hate to think about anyone wasting their life in the way that Dan and I almost did.

Before I know it, this life will be over. I’ll be standing face-to-face with Jesus and giving account for my time spent on Earth. It’s for that moment I pray I’ve not wasted my time, I’ve not squandered my resources and I’ve not spent the last 80-odd years completely missing the point.

“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14


Wild Olive said...

"Don't waste your life"...that's what Piper says. And we all know that everything he says is right. :)

Now quit posting to your blog and answer my email, yo.

Love you...T

Wild Olive said...

PS - Madeline, you're totally adorable - congratulations on your first swim meet!!!

Sophie said...

Way to go Madeline! She's darling!

This is a great post Shelly, so true, life is but the blink of an eye and we must use the blessing of time wisely.

Nancy Powell said...

Another post full of wisdom!

Taryn said...

Just shared this on Facebook...love this post...it is so easy to get caught up in ourselves and stuff, but I simply do not want to waste the short time I am given...thanks for the reminder :)