The First 3 Rows

If I were to ask you, “What are you doing with your life?” right this moment….how would you answer? Let me ask it another way, What are you living for? What gets you up out of bed and pushes you to do what you do? Why are you doing it? Are you simply on the treadmill of life, working a job every day…paying bills, waiting for that call to glory?

I only ask because so often many of us get trapped in this cycle of repetition and lose focus on the stuff that really matters in life.

As a woman, I’ve definitely relied on what the world has conditioned me to think was important for me and my life. I followed a plan. Not too risky, not too pathetic but just right as to not be judged or ridiculed by what society says is a worthy style of living. You know, tip-toe carefully around really living out loud.

Who wants to step on anyone’s toes? Not me.

From a graveside, I heard a gentleman describe his life in 10 year chunks. He was reflecting back on his relationship with his mother. She had been dead 10 years at this point and he reminisced about what life looked like when she was alive. He was B U S Y! He was on the hustle. He worked very long hours, he met with tons of clients and he spent hours on the phone with people who really have no connection to him or his life other than work. As he thought back, he realized most every person from that time period of his life were completely gone from his life. As in, no longer associated with through work or otherwise. They were gone. Not gone as in death, just gone. Many aren’t even in business anymore.

The person who mattered most to him during that time, his mother….she was gone too. Breast cancer ravaged her body and she passed away when he was 31 years old. He admits, he spent time with her and called her on the regular but many of those instances, he was pre-occupied or on the phone talking work. She always loved his visits, enjoyed every bit of him when he was around and was certainly understanding of work stuff.

Probably like many of you & me.

Work is work. It hogs up time. But, geez…we have to work. Bills don’t pay themselves. Not many of us are rolling around in dollar bills that afford us to just do whatever we want every day.

Truthfully? Even if we were able to do that, many of us would choose other things over the most important people in our lives anyway.

Imagine with me, if you passed away today….look at the first 3 rows of people sitting at your funeral. Who are they? Why are they there? Did you love them well? Did you give them your undivided attention and time? Do they know how much you loved them? Did you push them aside to chase other things? Things that don’t matter so much now?

I will tell you, the last 2 years of my life have given me such a different perspective on life. I never realized how much I took for granted until it was slowly yanked away. For me, no one I love passed away….only a job loss. Through that process, I’ve come to value the people in my life much more carefully than the pretty house, porch….flowers and freedom I once thought was so great.

Don’t misunderstand, stuff isn’t bad and neither is working hard a negative thing. Scripture is clear that we are to work and earn what we get in this life. The people in our lives, deserve to know how much we love them.

I see clearly the people in the first 3 rows of my life & death. They are there because of me. They loved me and I will make it my priority to make sure they know of my love for them. All the things of this world will pass away, so will the people. How well you and I love, how we’ve made others feel and the time we’ve invested will not fade away.

6 ways to show your first 3 rows people you love them:

1. Give them your time.

2. Be trustworthy.

3. Allow room for faults.

4. Speak up. Say meaningful words.

5. Forgive quickly.

6. Hug and hold tight. Physical touch is powerful.

Lord,
I’m here on this earth for a reason. Help me to show YOUR LOVE and my own love to everyone you place in my path.
Amen

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