The sub office called about five this morning, jarring and untypical. I could not get back to sleep. Though I have tried to change my sleep habits, more often than not I am up late enjoying the Fox night news, reading, crochet work or writing. When interested in a teaching post, I do not block the calls but filter out the unsuitable. Today’s offer was a Special Education spot for which I felt unqualified. So, I’ll spend my day on a different offer, or work on projects at home.
Each of us has these days given us by our Maker, until our bodies are taken back by Him. He allots to each a different amount. Some are privileged to enjoy the presence of a parent on into their eighties and nineties. With both American women and men living longer, this is possible. I am most blessed to still have my mother, at ninety-three now. I know there are some of you who enjoy the same. I have chosen to interview her for a memoir and began the process many months ago.
This ties in with my subject: the spending of our days. If we were to write a memoir of our own life, are there chapters we would want to leave out?
The concept of spending is a creative one. What kinds of things can we spend? Commonly the word spending is synonymous with money. Then there is time, which I am talking about. What else? Energy—what kinds of things do we put energy into? And of course devotion, a spin-off of energy. To what or whom are we devoted? And lastly, there is the mind and the soul. How do we spend the gift of free thinking? And what do we do to care for this gift of a soul that will last forever?
I am a pianist, not the concert type. Just your basic black and white key player able to read music well enough to accompany a program or soloist, or grace the bride and groom in wedding overtures. Years ago, having learned to play most simple tunes, the duet “Heart and Soul” became part of my repertoire. It was a favorite if not over-used simple piece for most budding pianists. Do you remember?
Heart and soul, I fell in love with you,
Heart and soul, the way a fool would do,
Because you held me tight,
And stole a kiss in the night…
Heart and soul, I begged to be adored,
Lost control, and tumbled overboard,
That magic night we kissed,
There in the moon mist.
I cannot attest to the devotion of this song. Rather it is the melody and pairing of the heart to the soul that has become ageless. They go together, don’t they?
We know of someone dear who has decided to devote her non-working hours to another man and place other than her family. Bills are neglected, time is used raucously, and what little energy she does have left after work is being spent on lustfulness and alcohol. Maybe you have experienced something similar in your own circle of life. It is heart wrenching. We pray it will not prosper and for her heart to return to a place of rest and rightful devotion. Failing that, her road’s end will not be happy; it won’t lead to a castle. It is joyless for her children and all who love her. An agonizing unraveling of life.
Our Lord lets us spend ourselves in ways that render us frightening freedom. The hope is Big, the hope for his creatures to return His love, as do children. A child looks to the parent, stays connected, has the reward of exchange and mutual love. In the hand of our Creator, we can walk with helpful direction, stability, peace of mind.
For those who did not have even one nurturing parent, may I say I am sorry. It came short of God’s perfect design. Mercifully, there are surrogate parents or friends who might supplant a barren pantry with goods that were supposed to be delivered. And there is God. Always, there is God. Bigger than all life can supply.
I had the challenge of a first marriage that rarely met my needs. I didn’t rush into the arms of someone else. Forty years later as a divorcé and single parent, I did re-marry but this time I knew my mate couldn’t meet those needs. Only my Maker could, my Forever Parent.
I want nothing more than to spend the gifts He has lavished on me with gratitude. Humility calls to me daily, for without it, sharing and praying is not the same. May the talents He gives us bring Him attention.
May the Lord bless our gift of these days, their number His doing. And may our lives bless Him also.
“The days of our lives are seventy years, and if by reason of strength they are eighty ….teach us to number [them] that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Satisfy us…with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!”
~Psalm 90, 10, 12 & 14