I’m going to a funeral today. Our 37-year-old neighbor, who was a husband and dad of two small children, died unexpectedly last week. Our neighborhood has been shaken by the news.
When I heard what had happened, my first instinct was to hug my family tight. It was a jolt, a reminder that we aren’t promised tomorrow. We have no idea how many days we have on this earth, so we have to make each one of them count.
As I’ve prayed for our neighbor, who is now a widow at a young age, I am reminded that God has numbered our days. We don’t know when the end will come. It could be today. It could be 50 years from now.
And I’m reminded that mostly it’s the little things that matter. It’s not the soccer tryouts, the report cards or the promotion at work that matter most.
It’s the hugs we give, the stories we take the time to hear, the lessons we teach our kids about God, the laughter we share that matters.
It’s the time we put down our work and did a silly jig in the kitchen with our kids that they’ll remember. It’s the moments we shared snuggling on the couch watching their favorite movie again — even though we can recite every line in it backwards — that will bring smiles to their faces. It’s the trips to get ice cream after a hard-fought athletic competition or a music concert that will be cherished.
So many times, the things we focus our attention on, the things we put a lot of time and energy into, aren’t the most important things. When we’re gone, our kids aren’t going to remember a lot of that. But they will remember whether they were loved. They will remember whether we took the time to listen to them. They will remember if they were a priority in our lives.
So, this week, I’m making it a point to hug my kids and my husband a little tighter. I’m setting aside the distractions of the computer and the phone a little more often. I’m grabbing the moments to spend with my family.
Because we’re not promised tomorrow, so we have to make the most of today.