DELETED!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow, I get my desk together and think I’m on a roll when all of a sudden, my computer goes on the fritz and my life is turned upside down!  Have you ever lost a hard drive or done like I did a couple of months ago and dropped your smart phone into the toilet?  If you have ever done either, you will immediately be able to relate to the horror I felt when I was told I needed to reformat my hard drive.

When Jim told me of my fate, I immediately thought, what do I have that I need to keep and what can I lose that won’t matter anyway.  Perhaps half of what I have on my hard drive could be lost and I would never know it was gone.  However, my mind went to the recent book I’ve been writing,  my real estate files, pictures, contacts, old emails and other important things that made me cringe at the thought of losing and having to start over.  How could I ever rebuild all of those things?  I had spent hours editing, scanning, and creating a LOT of stuff!

After thinking all of my contacts were lost forever, Jim announced he found them on an old backup and the day was saved!  Whew.  I like to live on the edge sometimes, but even that scare was too much for me!   My comment to Jim when he found them was, “Wow, I thought for a minute I had lost my entire life on that hard drive!”

Some day when God calls me home to heaven, I won’t have my hard drive or phone to take with me.  I laughingly can imagine some people standing at the pearly gates and saying, “Really?  I can’t take my cell phone?  Do you know what that means to me?”

Then I was convicted.  I can have 100’s of Facebook contacts,  followers and readers of my writings as well as my “tweets” in this life.  However, what good are they when I’m gone?  What would happen if God came today and deleted all of these people from my life, leaving only He and I.  Would I be content with that?  Sometimes in the mornings, I find myself checking Facebook before I read my devotion.  I’m often convicted that even in the small things…the innocent things…I need to put God first.

The fact is, some day everything that we have held dear in this lifetime will be gone…even those things we’ve backed-up a hundred times.  Only that which has been done for Jesus will remain.  As a matter of fact, He’s not impressed by my Facebook contacts at all.  More realistically, He put those people in my life for me to be a witness.  Have I reflected Him in my words, thoughts and actions?  If He comes through and deletes the earthly things I’ve clung to all of these years, would there be any evidence of my walk with Him?  Would lives be changed because of the time I spent talking with others about Jesus or will they just be saying, “Lori, who?”

Yes, I was traumatized by losing some data this past week.  You may have missed the fact that I didn’t blog last week…or then again…maybe you didn’t notice.  You see, the things we think are important in this life really aren’t all that important, especially to others.  I’ve heard it said, “What you did for someone in this life might not be remembered, but how you made them feel will be remembered.”

As a writer, I want to remembered as someone who affected the way you feel in order to affect your walk with God.  For as I am realizing the older I get, all of the other things of this world will quickly be deleted and what I have done for God will be the only data left.  What will your hard drive say about you when you’re gone?  Will there be anything there that will say, “He or she was a servant of God.”  Or will it just be empty…erased…deleted?

As a country that on every corner, in every restaurant and office, millions can be found huddled around a smart phone, my question would be.  Are we paying attention to the important things in life that will last for an eternity?  Or are we just allowing our data filled lives to suck us into a world that someday will be deleted?  The choice is ours.

So for today…I will remember that most of the data on my computer or phone is not all that important in the big scheme of things.  It is, for the most part, a collection of earthly stuff that when I am gone will have no meaning.  What I do with the tools such as my cell phone and computer, is what matters.  Do I use them for with eternity in mind or are they just a distraction from the things I should be doing?  Just as with anything in life, that which glorifies God will last, but what doesn’t will someday be deleted.  Gone forever.  Can you live with that?

P.S.  Don’t judge me if you see me huddled around my cell phone.  I am guilty of spending too much time on it and haven’t mastered the not wasting time on it so well yet.  God’s working on me with that one. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem!  Be blessed and don’t forget…get out there and be a blessing!

Matthew 6: 19-21 (NIV) 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Stand Out, Be Different, Take the Challenge!

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone already.  By the next time I write a blog, we will be done with our Christmas celebrations and moving onto the new year—2012.  I remember the day when the 2000’s sounded so space age and here we are, twelve years into it already!  I apologize that my writing is late today but I had some early morning errands that needed to happen and by the time I had chased all of my squirrels along the way (as those of us with A.D.D. might say), here it is 4:00 and I’m just getting started!  Have you ever had a day like that?  You start out with good intentions and distractions along the way pull you in various directions until you find yourself on the couch, out of energy and no more time to do what you originally set out to do?

Sometimes I look at the years gone by, not just days, and think, “Wow, where did time go?  What do I have to show for my life at this point?”  I think this year I was a little more motivated than others because I had certain things I wanted checked off my bucket list before I hit the big 5-0.  Some years I have looked back and thought, “I didn’t get a thing done that I had on my goal list.  As a matter of fact, what did I do?”

This year I have had a lot of time for reflection because of some health issues I’ve been having so I am looking at things a bit differently.  I am praising God that I was able to accomplish my first book, which hit online today as a matter of fact!  I am also praising Him that I have been able to do anything that I did as the beginning of the year was looking pretty bleak for accomplishing anything on the list.  A lot of the things I had on my original goal list for 2011 didn’t happen though.  Either because I re-prioritized and realized it just wasn’t as important as I thought or circumstances just simply prevented it from happening for reasons unbeknownst to me.

Although we spend a lot of time in our lives that is just simply wasted, I think the Christmas season helps us to get our priorities back in line.  I like the fact that it happens at the end of the year so that we can take time to reflect on the things that matter and hopefully align our priorities for the following year accordingly.   You see, the Christmas season brings our thoughts back to our Savior, Jesus Christ, as it is His birthday we celebrate.   It also helps us focus on our loved ones and seems to be a time where more grace is extended to those we may not always see eye to eye with at other times of the year. It’s kind of a magical time…and I’m not talking about Santa Claus!

When I recall my thoughts last December, I am sure that my list for 2011 had things on it like lose weight, be a million dollar real estate sales person, and get moved into my new home before the new year.  Well, none of those things happened—not one.  However, I’m OK with that.  I don’t think God really put me here on this earth to be skinny, rich and have an easy life.  Rather, I think He had much bigger plans for me.  He knew that in order for me to stay on the path and do what I need to do in this life, He would have to give me a challenge.  If life came easy for me, I would let it and probably wouldn’t try any harder.  But it doesn’t, so I am a driven woman.

I am not driven so much for the things that don’t matter anymore as I have only so much energy to expend right now.  God showed me though that His purpose for me in this life was not to accomplish skinniness, wealth, or other great accomplishments of unimportance.  Rather, He has asked me to speak for Him and tell others about His love for them.  He has stripped me of the energy for the frivolous and only given me the strength for what matters.   He has shown me what’s important in life and it’s not my weekly appointment at Jenny Craig!

My goals for 2012 are going to be a little different than most years in the past.  I am going to actually spend time in prayer this year and ask God what it is He wants me to accomplish in the year ahead.  Then I’m going to make my list of things to do.  However, I’m challenging myself to instead of having various columns on my list, I’m only having one—my spiritual goals.  For the Bible specifically says in Matthew 6:33 (NKJV), But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  I’m really here for one reason—to do what God needs me to do.  For when I am God focused, all of the other things in the world minimize.  It only took me 50 years to figure out that this world really isn’t about me.  It’s about God and what I can do for Him during my time here on earth.

Time flies and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  If we’re not careful, we will be in December again in a flash and stand wondering what just hit us!  Will you take the challenge with me for 2012 to not waste another minute on things that are fleeting and of this world?  What is it that God is calling you to do for Him?  Perhaps you’ve got it all together and are right on target for His plan.  However, if not, take the time to pray and ask Him to guide your thoughts to God-centered goals for 2012.  Just think of how different life might be if we were living for Him and using our time to further His goals for us instead of our own.  This life is fleeting…what we do for God is eternal.

Psalm 39

Merry Christmas!