When was the last time you were engrossed in an activity and someone said something to you that you missed completely? I would guess not that long ago.
Or how about suddenly realizing that it’s almost dinner time but you haven’t made food because you were busy and didn’t notice the time? Or you nearly miss an appointment because you were too busy to look at the calendar? I’m sure we could list dozens of examples of times we have been too busy to notice what was going on around us.
Last year, when my husband Randy received a diagnosis of end-stage liver failure, our busy lives came to a screeching halt. Everything we thought was so important immediately moved to the back of the line. It forced us to reevaluate what life needed to look like in this new season. And that made us become much more aware of what goes on around us. We learned to live intentionally. We learned to be in the moment instead of thinking about things down the road. When we slowed down, we saw things we’d missed.
We’ve seen this when we take long walks together. We talk about life and the future but we also savor the moments. We stop to watch the birds and the animals. These days are all gifts. We might not have had them and don’t know how many more we will have. We always say there is no guarantee of tomorrow but now we live with that principle staring us in the face every day.
It has influenced how we do simple things too. Like the other day when I was out doing errands and needed to stop at Walmart for one thing on my list. It was looking like rain, (welcome to summer in Florida) so I parked in an area I don’t normally park in. I was closer to the building so I might avoid getting drenched.
As I left my car, I glanced down at what looked like someone’s credit card. I picked it up and turned it over. It was a gift card. Someone had probably spent the balance and then just dropped the card. I carried it with me intending to drop it in the trash. Then I thought, maybe it was worth checking to see if there was a balance. So I stopped at the self-check station and ask the attendant if she’d check. She found that there was money left. It was enough to pay for what I came for plus a few groceries. I left the store having spent 87 cents for a bag full of items.
When I got back in my van I was grinning. I said out loud, “I know that was You, Lord!” It was just a simple thing but something that wouldn’t have happened a year ago when I wasn’t paying close attention to life around me.
None of us knows how much time we have left here. We could go to be with the Lord at any moment. If we want to make the best of the days we have, we must learn to live intentionally. We must slow down and take notice of life around us. God wants to bless our lives every day and we get so busy we miss it.
And, He wants to use in other’s lives every day and we miss that too. Ask God to help you slow down and see what you’ve been missing. You will be glad you did.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)