Why Be Intentional About How to Go Forward When There’s No Going Back

Time is valuable and we need to be intentional about how we use it.

Hello, my friend!

Today I’m welcoming one of my favorite people to the WWP blog: Laura Phelps. One of my favorite things about Laura is the way she makes me laugh. She also shares my love for Jesus and women, and I know you’ll enjoy her writing. In addition to raising her four children and loving on her husband, she works for WWP as a phenomenal Regional Area Coordinator. Going forward, she’ll blog for us once a month, and once a month you’ll hear from me. With love, Lisa

Summer, you know, is just a different kind of busy, and as Lisa Brenninkmeyer has said in so many words, if you are not intentional about how you rest, you will most likely not get any rest at all.

I mentioned I was thinking about attending the 6:45AM daily Mass this summer, rather than the 9AM. Because every summer, it seems I need to drive someone somewhere at 9AM. And so I end up taking a vacation from daily Eucharist. Needless to say, this got many gasps.  “But it is summer…that is soooo early. I don’t think I could do that.”

I know.
6:45AM is early.
Especially for what is supposed to be vacation.

But I keep thinking about time.

How it moves too quickly, and often what feels like too slowly, and how it is the one thing that everybody in the world gets equal amounts of. At least in a day. 24 hours. We all get it. Now, what we choose to do with it, is another story.

And so I have been thinking about this. As I pack those last lunches, while humming “it’s the final countdown,” and as I help to return those missing school items that need to be collected or no cap and gown, time is a theme that plays in the background of it all.

After sending off to school an 11 year old boy, who over a short period of time, has grown in leaps and bounds, physically and more so, emotionally, I checked my Instagram, and read a post from Leticia Adams, a Catholic convert, who drinks and smokes and tells it like it is.  She is also a mother who is grieving the son who recently took his own life. As she looks back to the dreadful night she lost him, she writes, “Every Wednesday I look at my clock and ask myself, ‘what was happening right now at this time,’….life is moving on and my son is still dead.  Nothing will change that, not staying home, not cake, not vodka, not anything.”

And she is right.
There is no going back, only pushing forward.
And that can be so hard.
Actually, not “can.” “Is.” It is so hard.
Painfully and dreadfully hard.

Time has a mind of its own, and all we can do is be intentional about how we use the time we are given.
We can’t get old time back.
For lots of us, that is one hard truth to swallow and accept.
Because I will bet, there is at least one time in each of our lives we wish we could go back, and change.

Maybe to mend a friendship. To give one more kiss. To take back choice words. To hold longer. To teach better.   To see the warning signs.  To be stricter.  To be more fun.  To be more careful. To have more dignity. To do over with grace.  To say sorry.  To stop the tragedy. To bring someone back to life. To set eyes on a face, just one last time.

Yes, summer is vacation. Vacation from packing lunches. Vacation from early school buses. Vacation from homework.  But time is still time, and as I placed what very well might be one of the last brown paper lunch bags on the kitchen table for my high school senior boy, I am realizing that it is not more time that I need, but more gratitude for the time it is right now. Because already, this morning is gone.

You know, this is going to sound incredibly morbid. I warn you now. But since the day of the shooting at my children’s elementary school, I have never assumed that when my loved ones leave the house, I will see them alive again. People, and time? They are given to me by God. I have zero control over either. That I learned and that I believe, and good grief, I appreciate them, as best as I can, knowing this mostly beautiful, but sometimes crappy, truth.

Time has a mind of its own, and all we can do is be intentional about how we use the time we are given.

Life is moving on.
The lines on my face are proof.
And praise be to God for my aging body, because if that isn’t an accurate and beautiful reminder that we are not ageless, timeless, or forever young gods of our own, than what is?
Today is here, ready or not, and yesterday will never return.

And so it is good to start thinking about how we can best use our time.

It is good to start planning to be more intentional with this gift of time we are given.

Because nothing will bring it back.

“Not cake, not vodka, not anything.”

And when I do this, suddenly Mass at 6:45AM doesn’t feel that early anymore.

Blessings,
Laura

Laura Phelps
Regional Area Coordinator
Walking with Purpose

Read Laura’s blog here: http://www.lauramaryphelps.com/