For Austin…

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“The trouble is, you think you have time” ~Buddha

 

Sometimes life is like a quick moving train, lurching forward despite the ever changing scenery–thoughtless and careless to our feelings. It can sometimes be a thankless beast pulling us on through the muck of life. When tragedy happens, the train doesn’t stop. It keeps rolling on, barreling it’s way through the wilderness of life.

Time is of the essence my friends, it keeps grasping greedily forward. From one hour to the next, the hands of time gobbles ahead, eating up each moment with it’s insatiable hunger. Minutes couple into hours, making its way into days, leading up to years…moving hastily on.

How do we make the most of this beautiful life? Maybe Buddha was right in that the trouble is we think we have time. We all carry around in our life a backpack of dreams we’ve crafted for ourselves in our hearts. How heavy our dreams are against our back as we trudge on. But what are we doing with those dreams? Are we taking steps to make them a reality or are we carrying them for just in case we think we might stop and rest to set up camp? Time is ticking my friend. Tick-tock, Tick-tock. What are you doing?

Life is too short to carry around dreams like ill fitting baggage.

Life is a funny, funny thing. You never know what is up around the corner, you only have right now. You are always trying to make the wisest decisions with what little information you may have. It can be a hurtful experience and yet you have no choice but to heal. Sometimes life is filled with the regret and shame for the decisions we’ve made or yet to make. We are riddled with decisions and pathways and most of us wonder if we are ever really on the right path or if we are dead stuck in the middle of nowhere. I know I’ve for too long wandered in the wilderness wondering if there is really more to it than this.

I know I’ve lived life to the best of my ability. I’ve tried to make the most of every day and some days I squander the time I have by just wondering what I could be doing differently. I know if I died today, I’d die unfulfilled because there are buried treasures within me unspent and undiscovered. I am living far below my potential and my backpack of dreams is heavy upon my chest. But what do I do with this realization? How do I take these dreams from my head and heart and bring them out into the open and into reality? Where do I start?

Time is short and life is but a vapor. Today we are here and tomorrow we could be gone. Think about that for a moment. Nobody plans to die. Nobody wakes up and thinks, today is going to be the last day I live. Most of us have dreams of growing old with someone we love. I can see it now… My face is etched with deep set wrinkles from years of laughter. The silver lining wasn’t found in any nearby sunsets, but lined through my hair as I have grown in grace. My hands are weary from a lifetime of care for others, but they tenderly hold the hand of my beloved. My children and grandchildren surround me as we gather for yet another family get-together. The kids running through the sprinkler in the yard as smells from the grill and kitchen waft through the air.

This is my picture of my life grown up, in the far out future. It’s an idea that is in my head, but is not a promised reality. 

What if you woke up today and set out to run errands and your life was up? For someone I knew in passing it was. There was a gentle giant I knew of who loved with a big heart. His smile lit up the room, and his heart couldn’t be contained in it. He died far too young and he was one of us. He loved the Lord. He was living passionately for God and touched lives. He left a legacy of hearts that are now broken. One of his last statuses on facebook was about his music and his last words were “This is just the beginning” A few days later he took his last breath. 

The trouble is we think we have time.

I’m always rocked to my core when I hear of someone my age or younger dying. I think about all the things that person may have wanted to do, be or accomplish. I remember myself, my frame and the fragility of my own life.

There is so much yet to be done, so little I have accomplished.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m writing for myself. I question myself, second guess my decisions, doubt my abilities. I’m human just like the rest of you.

People look at my life a lot and think I’ve made something of myself. They think I’m living for God and doing great things. I see myself as flailing in my fears, insecurities and still struggling with making wise choices in my every day life. I’m not completely satisfied with where I am. I’m HUMAN.

I work a job that I do very well which I use my passions to serve, but it’s not my life calling. I’ve been serving in this industry for as long as I have been able; it’s all I know.

I see people taking bold risks in their lives with huge pay outs and know I have everything it takes to do the same, yet I stay in the shadows of safety.

I see people walking out my passions and living out my calling and I wonder where have I went wrong? I am trying to build something with Adored Above but I wonder if anyone can see the dream that’s in my heart the way I can see it. I feel like it’s a heavy aircraft that isn’t moving fast enough to get off the ground. I see little progress and it’s a glimmer of hope in this dark world, but yet I still wonder. I feel like in my life I’m sometimes running in many different directions, chasing figments of my imagination and grasping empty air.

Am I making a difference in this big, dark, scary world?

Would you notice if I were gone? I don’t want my gravesite to be a treasure chest of untapped potential. I know there is more to life than what I can see right now.

So what do I do? Do I continue to dream and dream bigger? What do I do with my feet? The Bible says to ponder the path of your feet. I’ve been pondering for far too long. What step should I take?

Sometimes the journey feels like it’s taking too long to get to the destination. Sometimes that’s what is necessary and sometimes we are just standing in our own way. Sometimes it’s a combination of both and we have a responsibility to get out of our way and trust the process. We have to be mindful of the time we have and use every moment like it may be our precious last.

What is standing in your way? Get it out of the path that is set before you. Get rid of the dead weight– the doubts, fears, insecurities. They are ill fitting. They are heavy and you were never meant to carry those things. You are a gift to this world and your voice needs to be heard. You are living your story in front of the whole world, and many eyes are watching. What are you doing with the weight of that responsibility? Are you walking circumspectly or are you wandering aimlessly. Don’t get to the end of your life and realize that you aren’t spent, that you didn’t do all that your heart wanted to do.

All you have is right now, and nothing is promised to you. You don’t know that you have tomorrow. We only have today, and the blessing of the next second, Lord willing.

What is it that is keeping you back from living your best life? If it’s yourself, find out what it is that you are doing to hold yourself back and let it go.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
I don’t know about you but I want to spend this life to the last drop. I want to die empty.

I want God to be proud of me for my life and my choices. I know there are many things I have done that have not made Him proud, but I am forgiven. His hand is on my life and His promise is to perfect and finish my faith.

There is so much I want to get out of this life, yet I don’t know where to begin or how to set out to accomplish those things. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help or for directions a long the way.

It’s better to die trying than to live with regret.

Time wasted can never be retrieved. Try as you might you can never resurrect the past an relive it. You can’t go back. You can’t redo those moments that have came and went. They are gone, dead, buried in yesterday. The vault is locked and the key has been thrown away.

 But before you is today, a blank and empty canvas– yours for the taking.

What are you going to do with it? You have right now, this moment, today.

Live it right and live it well.

Take those dreams you are carrying and find a place to set them down and bring them into the now. Bring your dreams and your desires out in to the open and get to work. You will get further along with them if you aren’t carrying them. You can’t make a plan with just a thought without action.

For me, I want to write a book that changes lives. I want to write a NYTimes Best selling book. I am not going to write this book while it’s just a dream in my heart. I know I have to wait for the content and the right timing, but I should begin thinking, planning and dreaming now while today is still available to me.

I want to travel the world and speak before the nations, inspiring and encouraging and it starts with ADORED ABOVE. I should begin planning, preparing and shaping it into what I truly desire it to be. The time is now, and it starts today.

 

Big ambitious for such a small person, but it’s better to start now than wait for tomorrow.

Let’s do this. Let’s live this life big. Let’s spend all we have to see our dreams come to pass.

Let’s believe God for right now to be more than we could have ever hoped, imagined or dreamed. It’s the promise He’s given us. We can access it and put a demand on it, today.

Let’s not let our life run us, let’s decide to LIVE our lives.

Live it till the last breath.

Live it like it’s our last.

LIVE it.

xoxo Alicia Barkley

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