A very wise man in my life shared these words with me, and I felt obligated to pay it forward. It was in the context of a beautiful handwritten letter (see below) – but I have transcribed the important part:
“I know there must be many obligations on your time, and I would never want to create another one. I will consider any correspondence from you a blessing, and blessings don’t come with deadlines.”
This three-page long, handwritten letter is probably one of the most heartfelt and wisdom-filled correspondences I have ever received, and I have re-read it countless times. This quote that I have shared with you continues to be one that lingers on my heart.
Though his intention (I believe) to write the part about blessings being free of deadlines was not to teach a major life lesson, it did just that for me.
It made me question what things in my life are the most important blessings to me – or the ones which I hold dearest. Family. Friends. God, of course. Quality time with people I love. Conversations that open my eyes to the beauty of the world. The innocence of children. Pure, unabashed joy. Raw laughter that doesn’t hold back. Witnessing a couple in love. Seeing someone become emotionally vulnerable to another person. Those are the big ones, right? And then there are the littler things: the ocean. Smoothies. Puppies. Naptime. Etc. 🙂
But when we pray for these types of blessings, when we ask God to intervene in our life to bring us either these material goods or cherished inanimate things, do we put a timeline on them? I know that I sure do! I pray for things and make pretty clear when I think they should happen – as if I know what is best. I ask God for certain actions in hopes that He trusts in me – when really that logic is backwards. Blessings don’t come with deadlines, and even if they did, I sure wouldn’t be the one setting them.
So I think it’s healthy to simply “live a little,” letting loose of the constrictions that we place on our lives, our selves, our relationships, our goals, our jobs, our aspirations, and most importantly, our prayers.
A blessing is first defined as “God’s favor and protection” and secondly, “a prayer asking for such favor and protection.” Last time I checked, I am not in charge of God’s favor and protection (thank goodness), and more beautifully, there definitely isn’t an expiration date on that either.
Do you have places in your life where you are putting a timeline on God’s actions? Where you have control and don’t want to let go? What would it look like for you to be truly blessed? And what does it feel like to know that there simply is no deadline for that type of grace poured out on you? Some things to think about…
Verse for tonight: “Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed Him.” – Matthew 4:21-22