When I was a child, I used to “wish my life away”. That’s what my mother called my habit of looking forward to “the one days”. You know them, I bet.
“One day, I’m going to get married.”
“One day, I’m going to be a mommy.”
“When will I get to go to church youth stuff?! One day I’m going!”
“When I’m a wife/mommy, I’m going to ____________ one day.” (Fill in the blank.)
“I can’t wait until I am 13/16/18/22 years old…”
“I can’t wait to go to college!”
Many times, those statements of looking forward to things to come were focused on the next day or the next week. They weren’t rallying around time months and years down the road. Often, they reflected my heart’s dread or frustration over something.
“Boy, I’ll be glad when tomorrow’s math test is over.”
“I’ll be so glad when I don’t have to write any more papers for a grade.”
“I wish I was done with college!” (How odd. I remember looking forward to it. Hmmmm.)
For some reason, I picture my mother standing over the sink scraping carrots when I have said these things in a “Walton-esque” moment, and she responds with, “Amy, stop wishing your life away. Soon enough, all these things will end or arrive and you’ll be sad.” I said them while she was sewing numerous dresses, too. She wasn’t always over the kitchen sink.
Well, now I’m the mom and my boys are “wishing their lives away”.
“Three more days and I’m home from UGA for the summer! ” – Robert
“I cannot wait to marry Sigourney!” – Robert
“Eight more days and I’m done with my school career. Then I graduate in just a few more days after that!” – David
“This time next year, I’ll be packing up after my first year at Auburn!” – David
I see now what my mother said regarding wishing my life away. How quickly all those “one days” came and went. In the blink of an eye I went to church youth, dated, went to college, got married, had children who are now men! Stop the world, I want to get off…to catch my breath.
Still oddly, even after seeing what she meant, it seems as if I haven’t outgrown this habit. Furthermore, I have successfully passed it on to my offspring. Lately, I’ve found myself saying (in my head and now in print), “At the end of August, I’ll be done with chemo!”
While I don’t despise the course I’m on, I am looking forward to days of no more need for chemo. I appreciate being able to take the meds and also am grateful for my body’s handling of it thus far. In the meantime, when I look forward to those days, I am inadvertently wishing everyone else in my circle a quick summer so mine can be quick, too. I forget that surgery will follow chemo and then days and weeks of radiation will follow that. I have a feeling I’ll be wishing for the weekly dose of chemo rather than the daily minutes of radiation.
How ironic, I think. Can I never be satisfied with this moment right now without wandering away to wonder about tomorrow? I guess that’s human nature.
Anybody else do this?
What does God say?
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)
God, help me to be grateful to You for the moment in which You have placed me. You know that I am often looking forward to moments to come rather than enjoying the moments I am in presently. I pray I would not take any of them for granted, but be appreciative, instead, to You for Your sovereignty over all of time and all things that play out in my life. I want to be attentive to the paths You call me to walk. Even though I may make plans for the future, I desire to be in Your will. I pray my heart lines up with Your steps. Make it so, Lord. Make it so. Amen.