Have you ever just stopped? Stopped in the middle of a crowded space, and simply observed? As you suspend your own moment, you can melt in to the background and watch the world as it scurries by. People rushing from one place to the next.
As a self-proclaimed “people watcher,” I often do this very thing. I see a tired young mother with several small, smiling children, and I wonder; “What is her story?” I see a sweet old couple walking hand in hand, occasionally pausing to gaze lovingly at each other, and I wonder; “What have their lives been like?” I see a man dressed in Armani and walking with purpose, and I wonder; “What is it that drives him?” So many lives, so many people, so many stories.
My grandmother’s gardens are a labor of love. For nearly 25 years she has worked the soil in the various flower beds. Making sure that everything is just right for growing the many plants and flowers and trees. Last spring, a huge wind storm swept through the valley where we live, and one of her dear old friends, the tree on the corner, was completely uprooted. It caused us all to feel a sense of loss. Something that she had poured so many hours into now was laying helplessly across the front yard. Nothing could change that moment. All that was left to do was to have someone come in and remove the giant from its final resting place.
For quite some time after that day I pondered why it was that it grieved us so to lose that tree. After all was that not part of the cycle of life? Why is it that still, when I look at that corner, it seems so empty? Wasn’t that to be expected at some point? And yet, I believe that the things that we are passionate about, the things that we love, the things that we pour our hearts into come with great attachment. To truly be passionate about something becomes a sacrificial pouring of ones self into an idea, a person, a project, a cause. For my grandma, her gardens are a personal act of worship to her Heavenly Father. It is something that allows her to feel a closeness with her Creator. So, for her this act is MORE than worth the personal sacrifice that is sure to come along the way.
Thus, we must learn to count the cost of the things that we invest our heart and soul into. What are the things in our lives that our worth our passion? What are the things that we are willing to feel a sense of loss over?
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20 &21)
I challenge you to stop. Really stop, and not look at those whose lives are passing in front of you, but at your own life. This time, suspend the world around you and examine yourself. What does the story of your life say about you? How does the product of your passionate sacrifice matter in the end?