“I just can’t wait until we move out of our apartment.” I sighed, wrapping up another tale of our noisy neighbors.
My co-workers nodded sympathetically. But my boss did not. She tilted her head to the side and repeated a phrase she had said to me more than once.
“Don’t wish time away. Someday you’ll wish you had it back.”
I’ll never wish for this time back! I thought. But I respected the middle-aged woman in front of me too much to argue. She had become a mentor to me in ways that reached beyond the walls of my first “grown-up” workplace. She was always willing to listen and give advice whatever the circumstances.
I thought about her words on the 45-minute drive home that night.
Don’t wish time away. Someday you’ll wish you had it back.
My 23-year-old mind couldn’t understand how this applied to my life, but it sounded wise. So, I tucked it away in my mind, sure it would apply to me - “someday.”
Nearly 2 decades later, I see that a great percentage of my life has been defined by the very thing my former boss warned me against.
Like most children and teens, I was in a rush to grow up.
“I can’t wait until…” became the anthem of my young life. I was forever coveting the next stage of life. I wish I could say this anthem ended in adulthood, but it didn’t.
One long season that I wish I had back was the first 8 years of my son’s life. Not because he has grown up so fast (although he has!) but because I spent this season waiting for God to give my son a sibling... a living sibling.
Infertility is a thief of time.
More accurately - Discontentment is a thief of time.
I was always looking toward the horizon, waiting for something “better” than the moment I was in. All the while missing the beauty of the ground beneath my feet.
Oh, I knew every pebble and weed on the path I was on. But I was convinced that the only beauty in my journey lay ahead.
Can you relate? Do you ever wish away time as you anxiously await the next big thing? Have you put your happiness on hold, waiting for God to move you into the future YOU have planned?
Honestly, this is still a struggle for me. I still catch myself saying or thinking – “I’ll be happy when…”
When we find ourselves stuck in those places of discontentment we can remember to look up, look down, and look around.
Recognize that God is so very good, and his view far exceeds ours.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
We can rejoice because we know God is beside us, he goes before us, and He is who he says He is.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
Let’s choose to see beauty in the sacred place we stand right now. Seeing the beauty of this place doesn’t mean we want to stay here forever, but we will never be in this moment again so let’s choose gratitude. As Paul was in a Roman prison he penned these words –
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on such things.”
What can we do to serve others in this season?
Again, when we look at Paul as he wrote Philippians – he wasn’t waiting until he was released from prison to serve. He didn’t let the chains stop him. He didn’t wait until God had delivered him from a hard place. Instead Paul says –
“What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.”
How can we serve in the season we are in? Let’s look around and choose to be the hands and feet of Christ in this season.
Don’t wish time away… these words echo in my mind as I stand in another place of waiting.
There is nothing inherently wrong with looking forward to goals or plans. But let’s not miss the place God has us in right now.