Fall may have arrived in some parts of the country, but it still seems far off here in Orange County, California. I have to admit, I enjoy the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte each fall whether the leaves change or not. In fact, one day this week I woke up thinking about the delightful latte and planned out my day around when I would get one before I even got out of bed. Clearly I was excited about the latte’s grand return!
The excitement got to my head though in unexpected ways. I started thinking about what might happen if I woke up anticipating serving others each day with the same excitement I had over a cup of pumpkin goodness? Or what my day might look like if I planned it around ways I could encourage my co-workers or be salt and light in a dry and dark world? Here’s the kicker thought I had that day: what would my life look like if every day I woke up thinking that today I would meet Jesus?!
Of course I didn’t expect to ponder such heavy thoughts while in route to a cup of sweet pumpkin joy. But then again, I have, as of late, become more and more accepting of expecting only the unexpected in life. My thoughts on this particular day were no exception. Nor do I put it past God to invade my thoughts of a heavenly pumpkin beverage with thoughts of heaven itself. I absolutely believe God cares about every thought or idea I have and can influence them all in such a way that will inevitably bring me closer to him. So after some thought on this (by this post so far you’d think all I do is sit around and think and drink latte's!), I realized why I may have been thinking this way.
For about the past 10 years or so, my grandpa has been waiting (impatiently most days) to go home to Jesus. My grandma passed away as Haiti was shaking into a pile of rubble on January 12, 2010 and honestly, my grandpa wanted his turn to meet the King of Kings too. His prayers were answered just a few weeks ago. While taking an afternoon nap in his home, Jesus came and carried him away. Although my grandpa prayed for heaven just about every day, Jesus said we must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Our days are literally numbered and only God knows our number.
Hebrews 10:22 says, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
My grandpa had assurance of his faith in Jesus and because of that assurance he didn’t fear death at all. In fact, he welcomed it towards the end of his life. Sure, I’m not 89 years old like my grandpa was when he passed last month, but what if I woke every day hoping to walk with Jesus through the coffee fields that I’m pretty sure I’ll maintain in heaven? I might be bold with my faith without the surface layer insecurities that so many times hold me back. I might offer the hungry person on the street corner whatever snacks I’m hording around in my purse. I might say I’ll pray for a friend and then actually pray for them in that moment. I might stop and talk to a neighbor instead of quickly passing by without even a hello. I might spend more time with the children in my life more and less time worrying about myself.
It’s difficult though isn’t it? All of those things are easy to say now but come tomorrow morning am I really going to feel that way and live my life like Jesus might just show up in person? If I’m honest, maybe for a day or two before I revert back to a bunch of ‘me’ thinking throughout my days. I live in a now and a not yet state of mind daily. Meaning, I am not walking in my coffee field with Jesus yet. I’m living in a crowded and lonely county in Ca that desperately needs Jesus and I live with sweet assurance of faith that I will one day be in the coffee field. It’s like I’m drinking the pumpkin latte but it's difficult to see the fall season that it represents? A little like faith is evidence of what is unseen. Not actually seeing the evidence of fall won’t keep me from drinking in the latte though. I’m not with Jesus yet, but I won’t let that stop me from hoping and eagerly waiting his return to reunite me with him. I won’t stop seeking his face and taking in his word and truths even on those days when life just looks and feels icky. And as I sip on tomorrow’s latte, I’ll be reminded that today I ought live my life reflecting the risen Lord I serve with bold assurance of faith in the risen Christ Jesus.
What joys in this life or in the life to come do you look forward to each day?