Considering the high price tag for a college education, it was necessary for me to get a summer job these past few months to make some extra cash. It was a part-time job, but some days felt much longer than others. Every day as I left work, unpinning my nametag and stretching out my back, I would mentally count how many shifts were left until my day off. To be honest, though, when that elusive day off arrived, I'd often squander it with sleep and Netflix.
However, a few weeks ago, I heard a quote from Joshua Glenn Clark: "Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life." Those words hit me like a ton of bricks by essentially wishing my life away, I was letting all of my summer days slip by. If "lust for future comfort" is indeed a thief, I had been unlocking the door and welcoming him inside.
In a culture as hurried as America's, how many of us are guilty of this? We rejoice every Friday and mourn every Monday. Students make countdowns of how many days left until summer vacation. There's nothing wrong with excitement, but in our anticipation for the future, we are letting "the Now" slip through our fingers.
James 4:14 tells us, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." Talk about a wake-up call. The next time you're cooking (or watching someone else cook), watch the steam float up from the pan and disappear, and think to yourself, "That's me." If that doesn't make you want to get up and make the most of every minute you have, I don't know what will.
After hearing that quote, I resolved to change up how I lived, and hopefully it will have an effect on you too. Do something fun with your family on a whim, read as many books as you can get your hands on and drink some extra cups of coffee so you don't sleep the day away. Days off from work are an extra blessing, but don't waste the rest of your days looking forward to them. Our lives are gifts to us; live in such a way that when it's all over, you won't feel ashamed to stand before God and tell him how you spent that gift.
Elizabeth Burckhard is a sophomore at North Dakota State University, Fargo.