Life, In Between The Beeps
There's a smoke alarm with a dead battery somewhere in my house this morning. Every thirty seconds or so it emits an annoying chirp. I think it's upstairs--at least that's where the chirping seems to be coming from.
Whoever designed the system by which smoke detectors inform you that their batteries are dead was an evil genius--schooled in the art of psychological torture.
I want to go and change it, but I'll need to fetch a ladder, and there will be noise and commotion as a result. At the moment, everyone in the house is sleeping peacefully, and I don't want to awaken them just yet.
So, I sit here waiting for the next beep, dreading it until it happens.
In between beeps, a couple of questions that have always plagued me come to mind: I wonder how much of my life I've spent dreading what comes next? And, how many blessings and experiences with God in the present did I miss as a result?
I know that I'm not alone in pondering those questions. In my role as a pastor, I've had more than a few conversations with people who struggle to embrace the joys of the present because they are too busy fretting and dreading what's awaiting them tomorrow.
What's worse is that most of our dread and worry is over an imagined future, not a real one. The Stoic philosopher Seneca once wrote, "There is nothing so certain in our fears that's not yet more certain in the fact that most of what we dread comes to nothing."
I have to admit, I've had my fair share of struggles with worry. It has caused me at times to live in dread, rather than embrace the moment, to experience what God is doing right now and find joy in the present.
The words of the Apostle Paul from his letter to the Romans are always a good reminder of why we need not worry or dread tomorrow:
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May you find courage in the knowledge that there is nothing in this world that can separate you from God's love and presence. May you find the strength to let the cares for tomorrow fall away as you fully embrace what God is doing right here, right now all around you, in you and through you.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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