I’ve been thinking about the amount of time that I have to make a difference in myself and in others. I’ve been thinking about three amounts of time.
1. What can I do today?
2. What can I do in the next thirty days?
3. What can I do in the next 25 years?
Behavior happens one action at a time. If I am going to love God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, and love my neighbor as myself, I will look at the next thing on my to do list and ask, “How could I make this more intentionally loving?” I know that it’s easy to be paralyzed by this, but we don’t have to be. We can simply love as best we know how right now.
Learning happens several actions in a row. I can do 20 sit-ups every day in March. I can ask God for forgiveness every morning for a month. I can keep the kitchen counter clear every day for thirty days. I can read a serious book for fifteen minutes a day for a month. Each of those actions teaches my heart and soul and mind and strength how to love habitually. I can learn to love better in a month of daily attempts.
A pastor acquaintance spent the evening helping a family member recently, finally going home at 1:30 am. He is 79. Ken’s action reminds me that even though I’m 55, I’ve got the potential to keep learning how to serve for 25 more years. That gives me 300 months, give or take a dozen. That’s a lot of books at 15 minutes a day. A lot of requests for wisdom. A lot of notes to you. A life of love.
The challenge, of course, is to not worry so much about getting the 25 years right that I don’t pay attention to the day in front of me.