There are so many options, so many good options, for what we could do each day. Sometimes that is exciting, but often it seems more of a problem.
Recently we were enjoying time with friends and the conversation turned to highlight the possibilities open to one couple and those waiting for the other. One family has four young children, and a priority for this season is raising them well. The other has an empty nest and the ability at this time to see the world and the amazing things it holds. Both of us appreciate the treasure each other has, but also we know that we can’t have both at the same time.
That is real life. We can’t have everything. We can’t do everything. We are finite creatures.
There may be five great things you could do today, but you know you only have time and energy for two or three of them. You may want to start your own business next year, but that means you can’t fully invest in mentoring a young associate at your current company. You may be able to join the team of a new church plant in your neighborhood or take advantage of a year sabbatical to travel the world. Drama practice and soccer practice schedules overlap almost completely. The next two hours could be for running errands or for deep cleaning the pantry.
So we have a choice, both in life and each day.
We can ignore the limits, try to grasp it all, fail in frustration, foster discontentment, and focus on what isn’t. We can keep trying to do everything poorly and nothing well. We can mourn all the missed opportunities, constantly, as they continue coming. We can regret taking the path we did. We can feel like a failure as we focus on the path we didn’t take. We can feed a resentful, coveting, jealous, discontent attitude and pour all our energy on that flame.
We can be thankful for the gift of the life God has already given us, in all the big and small situations and choices. We can trust the wisdom and love of our Father. We can appreciate the options we have now, pray for wisdom, pick one, and live in it today as an act of worship. We can live a limited life in a limited world while turning our eyes to an infinite God of power greater than we can imagine.