In case you were wondering, life was meant for a whole lot of LIVING.
I don't just mean the kind of living where you breathe in and breathe out go through the motions of "life" day after day after day....
I mean the living where every day is a NEW day and a fresh opportunity to make the most of the ONE life you've been given. The kind of living that looks for the extraordinary in any old ordinary day! The kind of living that can always find a reason to celebrate just for the heck of it, because after all, every day has the potential to be a special occasion. Living with joy and passion and might I even say it, a little z e s t !
Maybe it's a little silly that I celebrate things like National Teddy Bear Day and Make your own Pizza Day and the birth of the precious little Prince Georgie over in London. Perhaps I would have scored a few points higher on those final exams had I NOT been up all night long with the girls on my hall eating crackers and sipping tea in dresses while we watched the Royal Wedding. And maybe my fluffy little puppy doesn't NEED homemade puppy cookies and cupcakes for every single birthday...but WHY THE HECK NOT!? If I reach the end of a year and in reflection can only remember a lot of check marks on a lot of to do lists, then did I actually DO anything at all? Sure, i got a lot of stuff done...but did I make any memories or grow closer to any friends? Do I remember the times I laughed or even the times I cried or maybe even the times I thought I didn't really want to remember? Because I can tell you this much...while To Do lists are a necessary part of life (and believe me I love them) they are NOT the stuff that life should be made up of! All that STUFF we have to get done every day is just simply that...PART of the greater, grander story!
Slowly I've gotten myself in the habit of expanding the concept of a To Do list. Now I don't simply include tasks that need to be accomplished, I also include LIVING on them. SO...here's what a sample list for me might look like.
-Confirm meeting times
-Write and mail a few fun cards
-Work through Transit to do list
-Call someone on your walk home
-Remind the kiddos that you love them
-Send some encouraging/thinking of you texts
I laughed back in college when I made this discovery...but now I see I may have actually been onto something! I used to put "nap" on my To Do lists every now and again so that when I would wake up I could cross something off and feel as though I had accomplished something rather than wasting time or NOT accomplishing something else. I guess it was silly, but now I see that there was something fundamentally right about that! Maybe if we would start including these seemingly silly things on our To Do list...we would actually be convinced that in the simplest parts of life we are very much indeed accomplishing GREAT things! They may not be physical, tangible things that we can see or touch, but they are the things that make all of those tasks and all of the doing worth anything at all! I admit it, I am so guilty of being a Doer...I always need to feel like I am doing something or getting something checked off of a list...but just as important in life is BEING. Just allowing ourselves to simply BE in every moment. DOING often forces us to become unaware of our surroundings and often that causes us to miss out on a lot of beauty in life. But BEING on the other hand allows us to embrace and take in that beauty and use it as fuel in the doing that is of course necessity.
It's official now. I am a quarter of a century old...and every single day I am closer to 30 than I am to 20. On one hand, that's a little scary...on the other...I'm pretty okay with it because when I look at what Jesus and I have managed to squeeze into 25 short years, I fee like we're on a roll! I am thankful for the ONE life He has given me and also for the grace He has given that allows me to live it to the fullest! (John 1:16) You better believe that I don't want to waste even a second of it! He has filled this world and this life with endless amounts of beauty and joy...more than we could ever possibly even begin to see in one lifetime....so why not get to it!? See and feel and breathe in as much of it as you can. I can assure you there will be more LIVING to do every single day. Enough to fill an infinite amount of To Do lists...and fill them if you must, but fill them with a whole lot of LIVING.