Foggy Good Intentions

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“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog-it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”                                                                                James 4:14 NLT

My good intentions have been chasing me around for quite a while. Until finally, they caught up with me, gripped my heart and soul, caused me to pause in time and reflect on what truly matters to me. I celebrated my fortieth birthday this past week (Ouch! That one hurt!) and I didn’t really want to do anything over the top. However, I did want to take the day to visit some of my former patients whom I miss tremendously and have been putting off going to see for a while. That was the plan. Those were my intentions.

And then my plans changed. I got sidetracked and needed to run errands for our upcoming women’s conference at church, so I put off visiting my former patients to another day.

 I will go another time.

Another day.

Good intentions.

The very next afternoon, I received a text message that one of my beloved former patients had passed away. The gentleman that I planned to see the day before. When I read those words on my phone, my heart shattered into a million pieces as memories of his infectious smile and hardworking attitude flooded my mind. I would never again get to hear his gentle voice tell stories or give advice. I would never again be inspired by his continued love of learning, even at his young age of ninety-five years. Oh, how I would miss that man!

My good intentions were gripping tighter around me now, turning quicker and quicker into regret with each passing moment. I knew my patient was a Christian and that he was Home now with Jesus. I should be happy for him as he was at peace but my heart was unsettled for I knew that I had perhaps, even in a small way, let him down.  My good intentions had let me down as well.

So, now, I’m doing the only thing I can do- learn from my mistakes.   Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Those seem like simple enough words to live by, but you and I both know that they are not quite that easy to apply to day to day life. Life is short. We all know that in our minds, but do we really know that in our hearts? I tend to forget this, at least, until something like a death or tragedy happens, to make me stop and really pay attention to what’s important.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if I could live my life in such a way that I could remember not to take people and special moments for granted? I believe God never meant for us to live such fast paced lives in which we lose sight of those precious things. He reminds us in James 4:14, “You’re life is like the morning fog- it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” As quick as the fog moves in, then it disappears. Our lives are fleeting, quickly passing. We are only here for a short time. I believe God is saying to us that He wants us to make a difference in the days we are given, whether few or many. And not just making a difference by doing good deeds like visiting patients and being nice. But He desires us to make an eternal difference for Him. While doing nice things for people demonstrates the fruit of the spirit in our lives, we must also make sure we are completely living our lives for God. Then, no matter when our life ends, God’s plan will have been fulfilled in our lives. Souls will be reached for God’s glory and lives will be changed eternally. Good intentions and the morning fog will finally have met their match and be conquered once and for all.

Be inspired to live for God today! Do what you can for Him, for the lost, and the saved, with the time you have been given.

*****In honor of my patient who taught me much about not judging a book by its cover,  local and world history, perseverance, and now, good intentions. I love you, FT. *****

Have a blessed week,

Alisha Ritchie

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