Most of us have heard the line, "When you're up to your neck in alligators, it's hard to remember your objective is to drain the swamp."
Good advice for life. We don't have to allow the present to dominate our thoughts and emotions. Let's not get so obsessed by enjoying the present that we ignore saving for retirement. Let's not get so obsessed with our current problems that we ignore more serious but less immediately urgent ones. I struggle with that, particularly in the world of the spiritual life.
Caught on the Dot
Caught on the dot
of my short and limited life
I seldom see what comes next
so I chose from a limited menu
and all too often I lose
I forget the dot merely starts
the eternal line of my life
So what will it take
to give me a long term view?
That question bothers me. Deeply. I know to look for God's long term best, which often comes with short term sacrifices. Short term pleasures that feed my self-will come with a large long term cost.
Recently I took a Real Age test on Facebook, and it projected my life to last until 92. 25 to go, so IF I last that long, I've already lived 73% of my life. A question I ask myself, and others may do the same, why would I risk the full pleasures of eternity for those that would only last 25, at best?
Part of the answer lies with the human condition--we're caught in a moment, a dot. Yesterday's gone, tomorrow never arrives, so we focus on the present. Most of us don't do well with delayed gratification.
Another part comes from having a skewed perspective. Our default setting values short term pleasure because it seems more certain than long term. Part of this post's goal is to encourage us to revise our priorities. If given a choice of feasting for a day and fasting for 14, would we? Or would we reverse that formula and fast for a day in order to feast for 14 (OK, no weight gain for this latter)?
Kick Starting the Application
On a scale of 1-100 on focusing on the dot of our lives or the line of eternity, where do you land based on your actions? The money you spend? How you use time? How do these match what you most desire? If a gap exists, why? How can you narrow it?