This morning while on the drive to work, I began to drift mentally. Sort of on autopilot. Just driving. An occasional sip of my newest passion .. coffee! I’ve been on this same assignment now for a few weeks. So, the drive has already become a certain known routine to my brain. I don’t really have to think about what I’m doing or where I’m driving. It’s maybe even become a bit mundane.
Not that I don’t enjoy the beauty of my early morning commutes. Because, I truly have grown to enjoy this daily journey. I’ve enjoyed seeing the sun rise. I’ve enjoyed seeing the cloudless sky on some occasions; and, clouds billowing on other occasions. Warm. Cold. Heavy traffic. Light traffic. I have discovered beauty no matter the differences.
As I made my way North on Interstate 35, I approached my exit. The truck almost steering itself off the Interstate and on to the access road to Loop 288. I let off the accelerator and slow to maneuver my turn West onto the Loop. As I begin to pick up speed to merge up and on to the Loop I glance down to check my speed.
I made a cursory acknowledgement of the speed .. but, something else on the display grabbed my attention. The Trip odometer. It, at that very moment, read “197.0” exactly. It grabbed my attention because that is a number that has significance to me. Not 197 and 0 miles. But, the combination of those four numbers fitting together to form 1970. This number is the year of my birth.
My mind raced off down a new path. I began thinking about my birth. Thanking God for the miracle of life. But, before that thought could even form completely, I was already at 197.1. Very quickly 197.2 followed. The thought occurred to me that two years of my life .. just like that .. had raced by and expired.
197.3 .. 197.4 .. 197.5.
If my Trip odometer was a representation of my life; it was speeding by at a rapid pace. A series of additional thoughts flooded my mind .. as my life, at least in terms of the odometer reading, flashed before my eyes.
James 4 proclaims life as just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 1 Peter 1 states all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flowers of the grass. The grass withers, and the flowers fade. The odometer now read 198.2. I was now twelve years old.
The overwhelming thought in light of these scriptures led me to one absolute conclusion: I don’t have long. My life, here today .. will be gone in some not too distant tomorrow.
I almost found myself mourning the life I have already lost. But, is that the correct way to frame it? Have the last 47 years been lost? No. Those days have been recorded. But, not lost. They have been good years. I have much to be proud of. Much to rejoice over. Blessing upon blessing. Too many to count!
My life is not over. Life is short to be certain. But, this .. right now .. this very moment .. is where my story begins.
Despite knowing the journey and where it leads. I chose to embrace it. And, I welcome every moment of it. If you could see your whole life from start to finish .. would you change things?
As I contemplate the distance I have traveled, I recognize that I’ve more often than not had my head titled to details .. to minutia. But, all of that is not what has given me meaning or purpose. It was instead a simple encounter. An introduction my parents helped arrange for me. A relationship with Jesus. He loved me first. Pursued me. He would not relent. Because of this unbelievable love and faithfulness .. I now deeply know how good it is to be in an unconditional embrace. My life is filled with beauty. Not because of things. But, because of You O Lord.
I am so grateful for the life God has given me. The life I now breath in and out .. while driving .. and on to, what will in all likelihood, be a difficult and long day of work. A day filled with much struggle. Perhaps often best described as a rock and a hard place. A mere crack in the middle of a slab of concrete. But, every moment of this day is precious. A gift from the Creator of all things. A gift He offers where I can find joy, laugh and love. No matter what the day brings. It is a day I can celebrate and chose to live joyfully and for His glory.
I recall Isaiah 59. “But, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.” So, I cry out to the Lord on this morning. I recognize You are good. And, that You have much good in store. Whatever this day holds .. there is joy in the living it! So, teach me Lord to number my days rightly. That I may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
May your days be numbered according to His great mercies. And, my prayer for you is that you will discover His embrace and that He alone will be the source of all your hopes and dreams. This is where life begins. Springing up from within whatever crack you may find yourself lodged in between. Every moment of your life, a new beginning. To be lived for His glory. Don’t squander it on things of temporal value. Align your thoughts and living with things of eternal consequence.
Live abundantly .. victoriously .. and for the glory of God!