“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV)
I get notifications of breaking news on my phone and recently got this from the NY Times: “Lorin Maazel, Brilliant, Intense and Enigmatic Conductor, Dies at 84.” I was intrigued. Four simple words to describe him as he passed away, words that described at least his public life. “Enigmatic” means “like an enigma, mysterious, perplexing.” I wonder about him, why he was mysterious. (And of course, I can search his name on the Internet and find out, but for now I’m just wondering.) A highly recommended book on my reading list is a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas called Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Now, those are four good words to describe a person’s life! Bonhoeffer was definitely a person who made a difference. So, I wonder, what four words would describe me? What four words would describe the person I want to be? (And how much is that gap between the two?) What four words describe you and are they different than the person you want to be?
I muse about these things because it’s mid-July, and my thoughts turn toward the many transitions in people’s lives all around me in these next few months – babies coming soon, people moving, new jobs, new schooling, new relationships, anniversaries, weddings, celebrations all. It gets me thinking that we should live life more intentionally – it’s too short not to! This Monday Doug and I have been married 30 years (Happy Anniversary, Doug! I love you!), and it’s been a long time and also a short time. I guess it’s a matter of perspective – people in Old Testament times lived a long time and were married a much longer time as well. Thirty years would be nothing to them. And yet, I have been married over half of my life. What does God want in our marriage for the next 30 years or however much time we have left?
I attended a beautiful wedding celebration last week. This couple has a lifetime of joy, hard times and good times ahead of them. They’ve already struggled through the husband’s six-month deployment to Iraq a few times; as he plans to be a career Marine, they will have more challenges like that. Although these struggles are hard, I think it’ll make their marriage even better. They will hold their marriage as something precious, and make the most of their time together. I feel that health challenges in my own marriage and other hard times, although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone (and I’d rather not have any more), have made our marriage better. We hold our time together as precious. Our marriage of course is not perfect, but God is working in it.
And so, let me end my musings by expanding on what I wrote in that couple’s card celebrating their marriage, not as someone who has it all figured out or who lives it out perfectly, but as someone who is a lifelong learner, an optimist who knows God is always working in us, individually and in our relationships. …
May you live lives full of truth and grace
Always thinking the best of each other
Full of kindness and love
Listening to each other with full attention
Believing the amazing God who made you and in his faithfulness (for he believes in you)
Keeping your promises
Each growing closer to Jesus and therefore always growing closer to each other
Making the most of your time here on earth
Making the world a better place together
And when you fail at any of these things – and you will –
Forgive, forgive, forgive!
Kelly can be reached via email.