The other day I was transferring all of the pictures from my phone to my computer, and, let’s just say it had been awhile, and there were almost 2000 images dangling on the edge of existence by nothing but the thread of an iPhone memory card- including most of truman’s newborn photos and the first moments of his life- when all of a sudden it hit me.
My life was literally flashing before my eyes.
The images were careening across the screen in quick succession and they were all jumbled up, in no particular order, and instantly the world around me blanked out and the images were all that I could see, only they were those moments as I remembered them in full color and sound and touch and I realized… this is it! This is what life on earth stacks up to- this quick vapor, this fading grass, this moment’s breath of time that we have on this planet and then we are… gone! And these images were pounding up on the screen relentless but each one of them was a throbbing of the heart inside my chest and before I could catch my breath there were tears smudging all the photos together and splashing down hard on the desk.
I was not sad. I did not feel regret or pangs over lost time.
The tears were skirting the edges of an awe-struck smile.
It was so… beautiful.
There were little boys in batman costumes and goofy first grins and the 95 foot ceiling of a train station in Kansas City that could pull a song right out of your lungs just from the sight of it. There were pictures of outfits and rainbows and teakettles… Warm cookies and water towers… sunrises and sunsets. There were pictures of the man I love, laughing, and of our little chalkboard in the kitchen with Ezra’s heart-rending reminder that “God is GRATE!”
Life is short and what will we leave behind? We can take nothing with us when our time here is up. No money, no trophies, no spouses or children or friends. Just ourselves, alone, and the things we’ve personally stored up in heaven… the love we’ve poured out on the needy and hurting and lost without any thought of selfish gain.
We can take nothing, but that does not mean that we will not leave something. The things we do and the choices we make on this earth will affect generations.
This is a reality that I feel like our culture doesn’t seem to acknowledge these days. We make choices for our pleasure without thought of choosing the harder way of character… character that will shape our children and shape the entire world long after we’re gone.
As the images flashed, I was moved. I want to leave behind a legacy of character and faith and children who stand for what’s right. I want to savor the beauty in the small moments and live a life of thanksgiving and praise. I want to smile more and laugh with my head thrown back… I want my children to remember me as a happy woman who knew her God.
I am so grateful that God used this transferring of pictures to remind me of what has real value. I am thankful that I got to see my life flash before my eyes NOW, rather than when it was too late to do anything about it.
I am choosing to pour myself out rather than fill myself up. I am choosing to dance with my son by the Christmas tree rather than stress about the dishes in the sink. I am choosing to live HAPPY in my moments- leaving behind love and storing up love- because I see now that love is the only thing that will remain when all else is shaken and stripped away.