Anne Wells (Los Angeles Times) tells this story. “My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. ‘This is not a slip. This is lingerie,’ he said. He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite, silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price-tag was astronomical and still attached.
“Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion.” He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, and then he turned to me, “Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day your alive is a special occasion.”
His words changed my life. I’m doing less dusting and more reading. I’m sitting on the deck, admiring the view. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings. I’ve realized that life is a pattern of experiences to savour not endure. If it is worth seeing, doing, hearing, I want to see, hear and do. I’m trying hard not to put off, holdback, or save anything that would add laughter and lustre to our lives. Every morning I tell myself that every day, minute, breath is a gift from God.
Don’t put off knowing God until later, either. It will prove to be the greatest loss of all.
Knowing God is to come alive. The colours are brighter, the landscape is fascinating, and the bird-song is more beautiful. Knowing God completes life. ’Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ Philippians 3: 7. LB.
Of course, life gets in the way and things don’t work out like we planned. Jesus, within us, gives us the power to live above depression, poverty, sour grapes and avoid pity parties. We are enabled to come through life’s challenges, unscathed, and a whole lot wiser. God always keeps his promises and comes through for us.
When we put all else aside and wait in the presence of God, our strength is renewed, we will mount up with wings like eagles; we will run and not grow weary; we shall walk and not faint.’ Isaiah 40: 31. So many times my human strength has run out and God has come through for me in renewed vigour. I savour life and not endure it.
These are the most joyous words ever written, ‘So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us to this place of highest privilege where we now stand and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God had in mind for us to be.’ Romans 5: 1 – 2
Like the writer of the book of Philippians I am glad to smell the roses, listen to bird-song. I hardly dust anymore, but it’s my camera that gets the work out. ‘So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead.’ Whoo-hooo!