Yes I Have To, But I Want To

In our current situation of staying at home and social distancing, I must say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to spend time as a family, just the five of us, playing games and watching movies and eating together. It’s ironic that the one activity I would choose most in the world is, right now, about the only “social” activity allowed. I actually want to do what I have to do. This leads me to consider the question: Why does it take a health crisis for us to enjoy so much quality time as a family? Why can’t we do this more often when life is normal? It’s easy to do the right thing when it’s practically the only thing. It’s simple to say I’ll make a point in the future of gathering our family just to spend time with one another. But I know when the busy-ness of life resumes, it will be extremely difficult to do this. But, again, why must it be this way?
Before studying the Bible and theology, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and learned a great deal about life from those who lived before me and took the time to write about their experiences. Perhaps you’re familiar with the play, Our Town, which shares the idea that we live life without really appreciating what it has to offer. In a well-known quote, one of the lead characters, Emily, says it this way: “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?” And from a less “literary” example, in one of my favorite movies, the following quote is shared: “Almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. Only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant, total amazement.”
More often than I want to admit, I live life without appreciating it. I fail to realize life while I live it. I’m asleep when I could, and should, be awake. I will change this. I will choose not to waste the pain and heartache and fear and worry and uncertainty that marks so many of our lives right now, including mine. Instead, I’ll learn from it by deciding to focus on the truly important things, not just now when the choice is practically made for me, but down the road when life is crazy, when options are many, and when distractions are almost innumerable.
Most importantly, I will make the very most of each day by doing what God wants me to do. As we read in James 4:13-15:
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Troy Burns