Living long. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I’ve been wondering to my self: what would I be doing today if I had been living long for the last thirty-some-odd years? What would I have accomplished or done differently had I been living long all these years of marriage and motherhood?
This train of thought is the sort of along the same track of thinking as the question: How would God have used me (or my life) had my whole life been yielded to Him? Where would I be today if my whole life had been yielded to Him?
So, living LONG — I don’t necessarily mean focusing on living a long life, or working at attaining a long life, but rather, living in such a manner as to daily consider the ramifications of decisions, consequences of choosing to do or not do something because of long term effects or results.
Thinking long means weighing decisions more carefully – choosing plans, activities, actions wisely and with forethought instead of simply thinking now – living in the moment – carried away in carefree living. O, there’s a place for spontaneity and light-hearted fun — but living spontaneously often has significant drawbacks and consequences.
Thinking long, changes the way we live – changes our daily living. Thinking long changes what we purchase, things we acquire, how we spend our time – and who we spend it with. Thinking long might mean that we choose to invest in something today — missing out on things we’d “rather” do or buy — because experience has taught us the consequences of neglect or inaction.
So you can see why I am mulling this over – a lot – these days. A couple more birthdays have passed in our family — milestones have been reached — time is passing so swiftly and my list of was going to do’s is much greater than my list of have done’s.
I could very easily talk my way out of these reflections – excuse my way out of the consequences or realities. I could (and with a measure of solid justification) explain away the lack of accomplishment, the lack of discipline or skill or whatever. But the truth is, much of the time throughout my motherhood years I’ve not had long thinking — I’ve not intended to live long — I’ve not keep an eternal perspective as a garland over my days or as a path for my feet.
Caught up in the dailies — and you know the dailies are *so* daily — in many areas, I’ve thought short. In many ways, I’ve lived short. In many instances, I’ve planned short. Instead of thinking LONG — I’ve thought TODAY. Instead of investing LONG — I’ve covered TODAY.
Now, at the risk of seeming to back-peddle, I do want to say that by the mercy of God, there are and have been many things — many times — many decisions that were made for the sole purpose of future benefit, future reaping, future provision. The consequences of not doing things one way or doing them one way have been strong motivators in mothering and training the children. Governed by “she will do him good and not evil *all* the days of her life” has been an extremely powerful and important “force” in my life.
I’ve sought to determine to live according to God’s Word — it’s governed my thoughts, decisions and actions… much of my life — but what about the times when that determination has waned or wavered? And what about all those times I thought short instead of long? What if, by faith, I had lived long? What if I, by faith, had not wavered when I chose temporal things instead of eternal things?
What if, by faith, I daily had a long or future perspective when making purchases, spending time, loving my husband, teaching our children, keeping our home, planting and gardening, reading books, watching movies, talking with family or friends, making plans…
By the grace of God, I’m determining to live long while He gives me life.