A few days ago, I had dinner with my brother, my sister, my best friend, and her brother. While growing up, the five of us spent hours together every day. We were all like siblings. Almost two years ago, my best friend and I both got jobs. Only a few months later, my brother got a job. That was the end of our carefree days of playing tag for hours on end, playing music together as a “band,” or any of the other things we’d done together. Well, as time went on, the number of hours we were working went up, school got more difficult, church activities became more time consuming, people got involved with plays and volunteer work, a million things came up to keep us from spending time together.
Anyhow, my best friend and I had decided to go out to dinner, mostly because we hadn’t for a little while. Well, my sister said she wanted to come, then my brother, then her brother. Okay, so that wasn’t exactly what we’d originally had in mind, but whatever, we can change our plans. We ended up going to Arby’s, somewhere we could afford to feed everyone with the money we had handy. Of course, Arby’s isn’t exactly the most exciting place to eat. Since the weather’s been warming up a bit, we decided to take our food to the park. Well, the boys said the picnic tables were boring, so we went to sit on the merry-go-round. We just sat there spinning kinda slowly, eating dinner, and talking. It felt so much like life five years ago. It was nice not be stressing about work and deadlines, to just be a kid for the evening.
So that’s something I’ve been thinking about, is it okay to just be a kid sometimes? I’m a senior in highschool, I work full time, I do tons of stuff at church, I’ve got a lot of responsibilities. So to say the least, my life if fairly high-stress. I’m thinking about graduation plans, about colleges, about life goals, about careers, and about callings. I’ve done some things I regret, and not done some things I wish I had. There are things I hope to do, and things that I worry I might. But there’s one thing that’s important to realize. In the middle of all our planning and fretting, all we really have is the present. Of course it’s important to plan ahead, to be good stewards, to be prepared to follow God’s will for our lives. But it’s also important not to totally burn ourselves out getting ready for “real life.” The time we have right now is just as much a part of life as the time we’ll have after we’re in college, started on careers, or married. Yes, it’s important to do things that will really matter, but God also wants us to enjoy life. By studying the Old Testament holidays, we can see that many of the observances commanded by God involved spending time worshiping and feasting with family and friends.
This is really a lesson I’m still learning. I want to succeed. I want to be ready for life. I want to do the best I can at everything. But at the same time, I’m realizing more and more that those precious moments spent with those we love are important, too. There’s no point in going through life succeeding at everything if you’re going to be miserable despite it all. Sometimes, it’s important to take the time to play with your siblings, to talk to your friends, to walk in the rain. Most importantly, remember to take time to worship, to pray, to read your Bible, and to continue to get to know God better. It’s all too easy to let anything without a deadline attached fall by the wayside.
I guess all I can really say is, it seems like all too often, when I get overwhelmed with everything, when I’m depressed, scared, or worried, it all comes down to the little things. Most of the time, if I think to stop and take the time to talk with a good friend, to read a few psalms, to take a walk and pray, I’ll feel better. Of course it won’t fix everything, but it certainly makes it easier to cope. Right now is really all the time we have, that could be your last chance to kiss your mother, hug your friend, or remind your brother that you love him. Don’t let those little moments escape while you’re busy meeting deadlines.