I have always been close to my parents. They are wise and devout Christians. I can talk to them about the things going on in my life, and glean sincere wisdom from people who know me best. I recall one particular night when I was consulting my father about some issues I was having with a friend. In a very calm, cool, and collected way, he turned to me and said, "Tara, I think you are investing in the wrong things." That was hard to hear, but he was right. I was spending a lot of time and energy on goals and relationships that were superficial and bringing me down.
That one statement really impacted how I view my time and how that time is spent. Time is a precious thing and certainly nothing to be wasted on things that are unfruitful and won't last.
This week the Cherrydale Baptist Church community lost someone that we knew and loved through and through. Anytime these things happen, it causes us to stop and consider our own lives. Susan had a long-term, invisible heart condition that caused her sudden death last week. It was a day that was coming, but it just happened so quickly, that it took some of us by surprise.
I have to admit, I did not know her that well, but I knew of her, and that, to me, is a sign that someone's life is very impactful. In the times that I did interact with her, I gauged that she was a true follower of Jesus, who really had a zest for life, and a love and passion for people. She was always smiling and had a great sense of humor.
I saw her life. I saw her serve. I experienced her joy and energy, and I didn't have to be close to her to see these things. She bore good fruit in her life and that was so very obvious.
The other day I was running around the house working on stuff. I don't even really remember what. The baby was in her swing, and I was running around like a crazy person trying to accomplish all these things on my "to do" list. At one point, I just stopped and thought, "what on earth am I doing?!" My sweet new baby girl is sitting by herself and I am running around like a chicken without a head doing mindless housework that well, let's be honest, is pointless when you have a newborn.
I stopped immediately, picked her up, and snuggled her on the couch for a while. I savored the moment; drinking it in as I thought about how quickly this time would fade, and how much I really wanted to be present and involved in each and every aspect of her life.
A friend from church told me that Susan's wish was to live long enough to raise her son. What a mother's heart! If we could just have that time to love on and mold our sweet children. What a precious investment in another human's life.
The Bible tells us that our true treasure is in heaven and that our hope is in the things that are eternal. But God has granted us this physical life for a time, and I truly feel that how we spend this time is important to Him.
In this life we have the opportunity to intentionally invest in those around us...to plant seeds, water them, till the soil...
We don't make these investments to simply earn a stamp on our passport into heaven, we invest and pour into others in a way that will having a lasting and eternal impact.
So, I had to stop this week and ask myself, "What am I investing in?" "Who am I investing in?" I considered if these investments were reaping fruit and eternal reward, or if they were self centered and self focused. Was I running over others to reach my own goals? Did I truly love God and others the way that the Lord had commanded me to, or was I just going through the motions so everyone would think that I was a perfect, little Jesus follower? What was my motivation anyway?
This week, as I read the posts on Susan's Facebook wall, it became very apparent to me that she invested in those around her. So many thanked her for her time, influence, and encouragement.
I hope that I am remembered that way. I hope that who and what I invest in will mark my life in a positive, lasting way.
Let's not dawn on our sadness. Instead, think about following Susan's example and choosing to pursue things in this life that will have lasting importance.
So there you have it, my tid bit for the week..investing. In my journal I made a list of things and people that I want to intentionally invest in this year. I considered my new role as a mom and how to prioritize my time between that, my spouse, responsibilities, and other commitments. I realized that I need to put the most important things on the forefront, and abandon my selfishness and mindless activities in order to truly stay focused.
So I pose this question to you my friend. What are you investing in?