What if my child was in a freak accident? What if my husband died of a heart attack? The very thought of it, just writing it makes my emotions overflow and I start to cry. The thought is unbearable!
One day, while I was having one of these "what if" sessions, I prayed that God watch over and protect my family, that he keep them safe from harm and grant them long, happy lives. He listened and then he posed a question for me:
"Licha, do you ever cry like this over the thought of losing me?"
I immediately felt convicted and was ashamed to answer because I never have. I've never wept in anguish at the thought of being separated from God. "Oh no!", I said. "I've never even thought of that! What does that mean? Does it mean I don't love you enough, that I don't care? What is wrong with me? I'm SO sorry!"
"You've never thought of it because you really do love me and deep down you know that I will never leave you, my love is eternal. It's the only love you will ever know that will never come to an end."
I know he's right. Every other relationship in my life is temporary. My mom has died, my dad has died. Like it or not, my friends, my children and my husband will someday die.
"So Licha, are you investing your love and energy in a balanced sort of way? Or are you investing too much in the temporary?"
The answer was so obvious I didn't even bother to respond. I spend way too much time making excuses for why I don't spend more time with God. "My kids need me. I have to spend time with my husband, I have to volunteer here or there."
"It's sort of like setting up a tent next to your house and spending time and money investing in the renovations of your tent while your house falls into disrepair. Sure, your tent should be stable and provide shelter and comfort but you cannot invest in it at the expense of keeping up your house. Your tent will blow away, it will rip to shreds but your house will stand, it will be there long after your tent has crumbled."
My "house" is almost always in shambles. I don't take enough time to dust the cobwebs or maintain the upkeep. I throw out the garbage from time to time, wash a few dishes but never really get to the deep cleaning so it's dingy and smells kind of musty. I've put off my relationship with God for much too long because I'm so busy invested in the temporary. Of course God wants me to be a good wife and mother. Of course he wants me to be a good friend and community member but I cannot, should not, will not do those things at the expense of investing in my eternal relationship with God. My house will come first and I must not feel guilty about it.
Do you invest more in the temporary or in eternity?