Friday, September 24, 2010

Who Might You Be Taking For Granted?

I love my family.  Last night I spent some time talking to them via Skype (I'm in Canada right now for a speaking engagement) and I was immediately reminded of how hard it was to be away from them when I was on Survivor three years ago.  I couldn't Skype (there really wasn't Skype back then, but if there was, I couldn't have done it!), couldn't talk to them, couldn't see them - nothing - for almost 2 months.  It was sooooo hard. 

The ache you feel is like none other when you long to be with the ones you love.  You promise yourself you will never take them for granted again and that you will never let them out of your sight once you return.  But inevitably, time goes by and you begin to focus on things that don't matter, on pleasing people who don't really care and spending time doing things that don't include them.  Why do we do this?

As I pondered this today, I was reminded of how God must feel when I do the exact same thing to Him.  I mean - He loves me - unconditionally.  And yet it seems I spend an awful lot of time trying to please people who only "love" me when I please them or do what they expect or desire of me.  I tend to spend time keeping up with the latest news instead of reading and meditating on His Word.  I do things that don't matter in the eternal sense of what is important instead of asking Him "What would YOU have for me to do today?" Nothing else matters.

Thinking back, it seems it takes a pretty big shake-down to make me realize I'm chasing the wind during those times.  God, in His amazing love & grace, will allow something to shake me in a way that will turn my attention to Him instead of what is going on around me.  I usually hate when it happens and sometimes even start to blame Him for whatever I'm going through.  In reality, though, it's not His fault at all.  He allows things into my life for a purpose though - and instead of focusing on "Why me?!" I am learning to focus on "Ok, Lord, what are you going to teach me through this trial?"

Who is it in your life that you might be taking for granted?  Is it your family?  Your friends?  Maybe it's God?  Whoever you might be taking for granted, I pray you will ask God to help you keep things in perspective and keep your priorities in order.  Once things start to slip, you will know it.  And it's never too late to start over.  Our God is the God of second chances!  Embrace the ones you love today - and never let a day go by without letting them know how much you love them either in word or action. 

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