Friday, October 17, 2014

Five "Long" Minutes

Why is it I am hard-pressed to find something positive about the word “long”?  The long times I remember most are the hard times.  

A long illness.  
A long term paper.  
A long time in the dentist’s chair.  
A long labor.  
A long time spent missing someone who needed to come home.

Isn’t the word “long” subjective anyway? Is there such thing as time spent with a cherished friend that takes just too long?  Or a great book that we wished we could finish sooner?  Or do the minutes and pages fly by and before we know it, the time is up?

I recently cruised the Caribbean with my beloved husband.  We were to leave on a Saturday, and not return for seven days.  When I thought about being away from my kids for a week, seven days seemed to be way too long.  But after boarding the most beautiful ship I had ever seen, relaxing by one of the many pools on board with a good book, experiencing superb shows each evening, and arriving at exotic islands in the morning, the days flew by. I could have stayed on that ship even longer.  

But most of the time, long and hard just seem to be life-long companions.

So, how do we do long, when long is hard?  I’m pretty sure it’s all about the focus. When I focus on the finish line, today is long and hard.  I was never promised grace for tomorrow.  The promise of joy and grace was for today.  So when long seems hard and the end isn’t in sight anytime soon, it's time to change my focus.  Focus on today.

Find joy in today.
Do nice today.
Love deeply today.
Tomorrow has enough worries of its own.