We've reached the time of year when the stress is high. As a full-time working mother and wife, I struggle to get it all done. I look at my calendar and shake my head. I have errands I need to run during my lunch break, then I end up working through lunch. From football practices and games, soccer practices and games, to Bible study, our days are packed. When I start to feel like I can't get it all in, I think about the dot.
I'm not sure where I first heard this story, but I write about it on Day 23 of Turn North. This is a great way to visualize our lives in terms of eternity? First take a sheet of typing paper and lay it horizontally. Begin drawing a line from the left edge across the center of the page. At about 2 inches, stop and make a dot on the line. Then continue the line across to the right edge of the page. The line to the left of the dot represents the time before your birth. The part of the line after the dot represents eternity--all of the time after you die. The dot represents your life. [link]
When I feel the stress of so many things happening in my day-to-day life, it has helped me to put things into perspective by telling myself, "Kim, it's just a dot." I have honestly found a bit of peace from that way of thinking recently, that is until I attended a funeral this week.
As the family and friends of the deceased entered the church, a minister was reading a few initial words of comfort. Some of what he said included, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." He also said, "We come into the world with nothing, and surely when we leave, we will also leave with nothing." My mind went to the dot. After we were seated, someone read aloud the obituary, and as the service progressed, we heard from several people who remarked about how the deceased had made her laugh, how she lived, and how she loved. During the service, the many decades of the life of the deceased were summarized, and those in attendance pondered over fond memories. That was her dot. And now she had entered eternity with the Lord.
As I drove home, my thoughts of the dot became intensified. I had been using the idea of the dot to calm myself, but after the funeral, the idea of the dot was monumental. When I enter eternity, how will my friends and family summarize my life? What have I done that would be worth including on my obituary? Do my friends and family know that I care--even when I don't call regularly, or say I love you before hanging up? What am I sharing with the youth in my life--am I helping them to grow from my knowledge and past experiences? Am I sharing the Gospel with anyone to help them learn to love God the way I do? Am I helping to shape someone's eternity so that we will see each other again in Heaven? I realized, this dot is about WAY more than football practices and professional development opportunities. And our dot is overlapped with many, many more dots! We have the opportunity to positively impact the lives everyone we meet. The dot...it's a small thing, but a BIG thing.
I ask you, what are you doing with your dot? How are you influencing someone else's dot?
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If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.