I think we are all guilty of taking time and experiences for granted. Somehow we think there will always be another day, more time, more opportunities, more chances, more sunrises and sunsets, more moonlit and starry nights to enjoy. But there is no guarantee of more time. While facing this serious cancer, I realize that unless God grants the miracle of healing we are praying for, my time here is likely more limited than I ever dreamed. This brings a myriad of thoughts and emotions.
This has caused me to look at time and experiences as more precious. I’m trying to not take things for granted. But while trying to thoroughly enjoy the moments, there sits a dark cloud of questions, like, “is this the last time I will…..” Only God knows the answers to those questions. I am thankful that I have a God who loves me and knows my thoughts, my questions, my fears and my joys! I know He is with me and will carry me through what is ahead. I am trusting Him.
In the meantime, I am finding my senses to be more alert to little things that used to pass me by when I was focused on the urgent issues of each moment. I have always enjoyed being outside in the warmer months. I am enjoying seeing the beauty of the flowers and trees more than I ever have. I love watching colorful sunsets and looking at the moon and stars, watching clouds, and the rain and lightening. I love to watch the birds and other creatures, except a few like spiders and snakes!
I love to feel the sun on my skin, and even more now that one of the chemotherapy drugs causes painful neuropathy to the cold. I love to feel warm breezes on my skin, and watch the wind moving through the trees. I miss feeling the wind blowing my hair, but it is about a half inch long now, so I’m enjoying how easy it is! The wind reminds me of God’s Holy Spirit that is always moving around us and in us. God has always revealed his beauty and magnificence to me through his incredible creation!
I am enjoying quiet moments to just listen to what is going on around me. We often have the TV or music playing to avoid silence as we go through our days. I encourage you to enjoy the quiet. You may be surprised at what you hear and how peaceful it can be!
We recently had the opportunity to go to New York City with my sister and brother-in-law. We went to the Iridium Theatre to hear live music. Raul Midon was the performer that night. He was amazing! He played the guitar, both rhythm and lead solos with a bass guitar player and a drummer. He had an incredible voice and was able to follow the lead solos he played on the guitar with his voice. He could also mimic the sound of a trumpet with his voice! At one point, the other band members left the stage and he played the guitar with his left hand on the guitar neck, while he played the bongos drums with his right hand, and he made the trumpet sounds with his voice. He was a one-man band! Besides being amazed at his amazing talents and perfect pitch, he was amazing because he was blind! He did not have the sense of sight as most of us do, but his other senses were so heightened and perfected that he was doing things most with sight could never do!
This also makes me think of “Gail’s Girls”, the 25 young women we are raising support for in Southern Asia. They live in communities where clean drinking water and food are often not available. Their communities are full of people who have been told they are worth less than the animals. We cannot fathom living in the kind of poverty and broken self-worth they struggle with daily. Their senses see, hear, feel, and touch hopelessness. Yet these girls have a deep desire to transform their communities and share the good news of Jesus, even through the risk of persecution! They need the help of our support for their education and mentoring. (You can watch a video explaining this here: https://stadiachurchplanting.org/gailsgirls-gailhamiltonvideo/ )
I don’t want to take anything for granted. I want to use all of my senses to appreciate all that is around me and all those who are around me. I also want to focus on Christ and remember that all good things come from being in Him. We all need to avoid taking things for granted. None of us are staying here forever. Paul reminds us of where our focus should be in Philippians 3:13b (NIV), “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Are your senses fully alert? I challenge you to notice the beauty around you and take some quiet moments and listen. Maybe you will hear God more clearly and sense his presence during those moments as I do.