Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fill the Frame

But I’ve learned that as great as the moments are that may come someday, there are a lot of great moments right now.
I’m a saver. My philosophy has always been to savor life. I hold on to things as long as I possibly can, but maybe sometimes I hold on a little too tightly.
I spent several summer’s with two amazing girls. I remember a time they were having a discussion in the backseat of my car about what they were going to spend their money on. The youngest one told the oldest one, “People are like ants and grasshoppers. Ants save up like you and daddy and grasshoppers like to shop like me and momma.”
She was probably about six years old then and it made me laugh, but there was a lot of wisdom in that little confession. Some people go through life building and storing up like ants and some people follow the grasshopper mentality and live day to day. Maybe we could all learn to be a little more middle ground.
I mentioned I like to save, but I’m not just talking about money. I know a lot of people will think I am crazy, but I save things that remind me of things. I save receipts with the names of other cities to remember the trip. I save cards and notes and coloring sheets to remember the people who gave them to me. I save things that I think one day, Lord willing, my children might want to see. I hold onto books and things from my childhood; plane tickets and movie stubs, newspaper articles and writings that have inspired me. I’m not a hoarder by any means, but I do have a lot of stuff I probably don’t need from the years.
And here’s an even crazier confession: I have several gift cards that I have held onto for some time just waiting for the right thing to use it on. I have a couple of picture frames that are still empty, not for a lack of pictures, but because I am waiting for the perfect memory to fit inside them. I could easily spend the cards or fill the frames, but nothing seems quite right. I’m always waiting for the right moment, for that someday, for that lining up of the stars. Have I mentioned I’m a bit of a perfectionist?
But I’ve learned that as great as the moments are that may come someday, there are a lot of great moments right now. I know I’m a little crazy with stuff like this, but I think a lot of people can relate to what I’m talking about because a lot of us live life waiting for the perfect moments to come and we end up never really living at all. We march like ants and we dance about like grasshoppers. We hop and we hold tight and we miss out on something much greater. No matter what category you find yourself in, let us strive to become better. Let us not always be waiting, but let us be found living the life God called us to live.
This wasn’t exactly the conventional New Years post I had planned, but I know God is trying to speak to someone. I want to forget about traditional goals and resolutions and I want to just evaluate life. I want you to look at the people around you, at your schools and at your jobs and right there in your own family, and I want you to ask yourself if you’ve been making the difference you should? I want you to look at your community and those you don’t know. Are you shining a light? Are you a source of hope for the discouraged? Here are a few questions to consider:
1). Do you ask others about their life or do you always just talk about yours?
2).When’s the last time you breathed into someone’s life and encouraged them?
3). Do you write notes, send uplifting texts, invest time or share scripture with others routinely?
4). Do you look for lonely or hurting individuals and try and include them?
5). Do you complain about how things are or do you get up and try to change them?
6). Do you spend more time on social media, with friends, at work and on interests then on trying to spiritually nurture and grow yourself?
7). Are the things that come out of your mouth pleasing and wholesome and uplifting or do they tear others down and lend a hand to the cycle of negativity?
8). Do you fill your own mind (television, music, books, posts) with things of integrity and honor?
9). What would those closest say about you and your life if they were being completely honest?
10). Do you let God’s voice dictate your life decisions, actions, speech and character or do you follow the patterns of this world?
Let’s stop chasing after things in this world and embrace all 2015 has for us. I’m more interested in working on my heart than anything else this year. And I am talking to myself; a lot of those questions came from personal reflections. I hope you will journey with me though. There are two great verses I have to include as we transition into a new season together.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”
–Isaiah 43:18-19
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” -2 Corinthians 5:17
I mentioned ants and grasshoppers and becoming more like both. My challenge to all of us is to hold on to what matters and let go of what doesn’t. Ants: Don’t hold onto life so tightly that you never live it. Choose to make today your perfect moment. Don’t wait for someday. Grasshoppers: Take a minute to look at those around you and realize life is worth slowing down for. Don’t just hop from thing to thing, but put roots in family and love and what matters. Spend in the right places.
Let us live lives that truly matter. Fill the Frame. #Become an AntHopper.
-Only Hope-Thanks 2014! Happy New Year!

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