I loved watching my daughter on the beach on a cold Spring day. She had decided she wouldn’t try to brave the cold waters, so she just dipped her little toes in, danced in the sand, and amused herself by keeping the waves from coming up to her rolled up jeans. Her brothers on the other hand, would have nothing to do with merely dipping their toes in. Determined to not waste a day at the ocean, they were prepared for swimming and were crashing the waves, getting fully immersed in the rough ocean waters, no matter how cold they were! They were definitely “All in!”
I was with my daughter on this one as I stood back and enjoyed the view with my toes in the sand, but my jeans only up past my ankles. I loved watching the two different approaches, and laughed at the picture of the boys throwing caution to the wind, jumping in with wild abandon There’s a definite place in life for wild abandonment, total surrender, and being “All In”, that’s for sure! It’s a picture I’ve thought of quite a bit lately.
You see, I’ve been thinking a lot about total surrender lately. A dear friend passed away, and she as she faced the end of her life, she was very intentional about making the most of her moments. Her priorities were direct and clear. She was “all in” with loving well, sharing the love of Christ with others, and saying the words that she felt needed to be said. (I was the recipient of some of these direct words as she spoke to me on how to best ‘get in there’ with a son of mine who was struggling, and trust me, I took it to heart.) She didn’t dance around subjects, for there was no time for that. She loved well and spoke clearly, laughed whole-heartedly, and grieved deeply.She was honest. She knew her days were numbered, and her darkest cloud had the silver-lining of a precious gift to those around her as she chose to make the most of her days, knowing that they were few.
So, it has me thinking. Actually it not only has me thinking, I’m sitting here smiling as I say, some things are changing in my life. I have some ‘built-in’ excuses, like juggling a large family with a full-time demanding (more emotional than physical) job and a husband who, well, let’s just say, who stretches me a bit! (Totally love the man, but I tell ya, life is always quite full when he’s in the picture!) So, when I make excuses about not getting things done, well, they can be externally justified. Justified, but not to my benefit or the benefit of those around me. Honestly, (here comes the confession part), I waste a lot of time. Quite a bit. I’ve only realized that in recent years, but only in the past month have I truly started making changes. My friend’s numbered days make me much more aware of my passing moments. So, I’m cutting some of the fluff…and loving it!
So here’s the thing about being “All-in”. I want to live without the regrets of ‘what could’ve been’. I want to send the cards when I’m thinking of others, to share the gospel and love of Christ in a way that flows out of my spending time with Him. I want to share the “stuff” that sits around and is wasted. I want to be strategic in caring for those in my world, my home, my community, my realm. So much of that will only get done as I get more strategic and organized with my time and determine to jump in with the same tenacity and joy with which my kids jumped into the very, very cold rushing waves of water in the Atlantic Ocean on that cold Spring Day. They got used to the water quickly and made the most of their time, for sure, and it was a day well spent. I want to have a life well-lived, and as I pray and ask God to direct my steps, I must first determine to be obedient to follow where He leads. And sometimes before I can truly see, or truly be “all there”, I need to free myself from the stuff, the time-stealers and distractions.
So that’s what I’m working on. Being “All in!” And here’s one last visual for you: When I was younger, oh, how I used to draw out the process of ‘getting used’ to cold water in a swimming pool. I’d dip my toes in, then come the ankles, knees, etc. I probably wasted lots of time being freezing cold when I could’ve just jumped in, and gotten used to the water in matter of 30 seconds rather than 5 minutes of torture! So, I’m thinking on that analogy as I try to jump in to my tasks of reorganizing my life a bit to be not more effective like some little efficiency robot, but to be more intentional like a believer in Christ who loves well and makes the most of their days. Because like my dear friend showed us in her last months, days, and moments on earth, Moments Matter. Each and every one. So, here’s to being ‘all in!’
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.… ” Philippians 2: 14-16
Post was in response to prompt for “A Week of…Sea and Sand”