People say that life is short. Well, short is a relative term. If we’re comparing modern day life spans to that of Methuselah, then I guess I can agree that life is short. No matter how long our time on Earth may be, we need to use it wisely. For that reason and for the purpose of growth, I’ve identified 12 things I can no longer afford. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find that you can’t afford them either.
12 Things I Can No Longer Afford
- The luxury of a negative thought – We hear so many encouraging words throughout the day. They go in one ear and out the other — motivating us as we move about our day. One negative thought can upset that tenuous balance we struggle to maintain. Negative thoughts and negative people leave us feeling drained. You can’t afford to feel this way.
- Missing play dates – Unless you’re fighting the plague or there’s a Friends marathon on TV, don’t miss your play dates. Laughter is good medicine. It might even cure the plague. You can’t afford to miss a chance to fellowship with your real friends.
- Going to work early – I wake up early every day, but that doesn’t mean that I need to get to work early. I used to think I could get ahead if I went in early. I accomplish as much now as I did back then. Besides, if I start going to work early, I’d have to give up part of my morning routine. I’m not willing to part with prayer time, bible study, and writing. I can’t afford to lose my way or my soul.
- Leaving work late – Sometimes I have to work late. There’s just no way around it. Most days I can leave at a decent hour — giving me time to exercise a little, cook dinner, and spend time with my husband. I can’t afford to upset this balance either.
- Staying up past my bedtime – For the past four years, I have averaged six hours of sleep each night. That’s ridiculous! You’re probably wondering how on Earth am I able to maintain my effervescent personality and witty disposition on a mere six hours. God only knows. Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been turning in an hour early, and I feel the difference. I can’t afford to rob you any longer.
- Missing my massage appointments – This is getting out of hand. I canceled an appointment a few hours before my appointment, and the company charged me for half of the service. I didn’t want to miss this treat, but I think I had the plague that day. I can’t afford to spread that around, and I can’t afford to waste money either.
- Eating junk – Believe it or not, I’m not a healthy eater. I love veggies, and I eat a few servings per week, but I could do so much better. Packing leftovers for lunch is so much better than the number four with extra turkey, no mayo, extra sauce, cut in half from Jimmy John’s. I can’t afford to ingest foods that don’t fuel me properly (just in case life is actually long).
- Being nosey – Eavesdropping or “ear hustling” can lead you down a road you hadn’t intended to travel. I stay in my lane and mind my business. Besides, I like my nose exactly where it is — perfectly aligned in the middle of my face. I can’t afford to have it knocked out of joint because I stuck it where it didn’t belong.
- Doing what I’ve always done – It’s a fact that what you reap is what you sow. If I plant pumpkin seeds, I should expect to get pumpkins — not turnips. If I sow into a particular ministry, I should expect to see it prosper. I’m setting goals and taking action. I can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.
- Fixing what’s broken – This year has taught me that I’m not equipped to fix everything. My desire to help sometimes leads to a level of zeal that I can’t sustain. I realize now that sometimes I’m needed merely to assist. I can’t afford to be the MVP at all times.
- Breaking promises – I don’t break many promises because I don’t commit to a lot. Knowing what I’m able and willing to do is key. Let your yay be yay and your nay be nay. I can’t afford anything more.
- Having regrets – Everything we experience is meant to teach us something. Having an attitude of gratitude for all of life’s lessons is the way to go. Regretting things leads to perseverating about them, and this results in wasted time and energy. If life is really short, I can’t afford to waste my time.
Like everyone else, I’m a work in progress. I take a few baby steps in the right direction each day, but I sometimes take a giant step without saying “Mother, may I,” and I end up right where I started. If you want to have an epic journey, draw close to God. You can’t afford not to. He’s the only one who knows where you’re going.
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(Originally posted on 12/18/16)