What lasts? I determined two

What lasts? I determined two

What lasts?

Hand prints in the concrete on a freshly poured patio don’t. Hands and feet dipped in paint and pressed on the wall don’t. Even those pressed into ink and onto a page at birth don’t last forever. Those pressed into plaques to be saved even get stored away in boxes, and one day won’t mean anything to anyone because the one who loves them is gone.

You know their tiny hands and feet grow. They’re so precious. So fleeting.

I have the plaques and the baby book keepsakes, but the ones pressed into concrete eroded away. The ones on the wall remain until the day we sell the house and move. That will be sad to leave behind. That’s like the tick marks on the wall, recorded with initials and dates testifying to children growing taller.

Time marches on. Babies grow up. Possessions disappear and decompose.

Nothing lasts forever, except God and God’s Word.

Slow down to notice what lasts

Noticing the disappearing hand prints in the concrete left me feeling a bit sad. The effects of 12 years of precipitation and wind smoothed away impressions in a short amount of time. The concrete set up fast that day. If they’d been deeper, they’d have lasted longer. My youngest two disappeared already.  I only know what the slight depression means.

This all reminds me to pay attention to what I invest my resources in. How important is this activity or task? Will it matter next week, next month, next year? Ten years? What value does God put on this? Is it about building relationships? If so, what kind? Does it build up and move forward, or does it stagnate or cause you to lose ground? Is it deep, or is it shallow?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t ask these questions over every daily activity. Some routines just seem—well—routine. Maybe I’ve succumbed to making life about habits.

I pray and ask God for direction. Life with God is exciting, so if life is dull, then it’s my fault for making it so.

Making changes gets us out of comfort zones. If something isn’t working or if you sense it’s time to shake things up, then make the change. Maybe it is God’s still, small voice nudging you to the next level, the next thing.

Get quiet to discover what’s important

To make a difference and to be effective means we have to obey what God asks. The only way we can know that is to stay close to God by praying, immersing ourselves in what the Bible says, and being quiet to hear. It’s hard to listen when life is loud and busy.

But life does get loud and busy all the time. That’s why we have to make conscience choices to slow down and quiet ourselves. If we don’t, we’ll miss the most important parts of our lives: the people not the tasks.

Memories fade. Impressions do too. But the things we do for God and for people leave lasting impressions that pass from person to person, generation to generation, a lasting legacy.

Author Alicia Britt Chole said in a keynote address I heard this summer that anything of value is written in our living letters—children, people we mentor. She’s right.

We can’t see these letters as they’re being written, but they are seen by others. I plan to continue to invest in those and take pictures that will jog my memory and last longer than paint.

What lasts? Love.

Who or what are you investing in?

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6 Replies to “What lasts? I determined two”

  1. When my granddaughter first learned to talk, my sister told me I should start writing down the hilarious things she would say…she is a very unique girl and ALWAYS looks at things in a new/different light. Even teachers she has had through the years have said that she really made them think about something differently. I wish I would have listened. Now I can only remember a few of them. Oh to have those memories back.

    1. I understand. When I wrote a newspaper column, I captured some of the funny things my sons did, but by the time I had my daughters, I became busier and didn’t write memories down even in a journal. Perhaps you could take an afternoon and highlight some of the things you do recall. Add pictures if you have them. It would make a treasured keepsake even if it’s more from memory than in the moment. I think this is a common problem. I know I also wish I’d interviewed my grandparents when I had a chance to save some of their stories for my kids to read. We all just do our best. Thanks for taking time to share, Deb.

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