I was reminded yesterday that my life is not my own - hasn't really been for a long period of time.
Yesterday, getting into the car to spend my carefully hoarded birthday money, the air conditioning on my car started to make a horrible grinding noise when idling. This was added to the starter on the van suddenly quitting the day before.
I had felt okay about it on Saturday - initially freaking out, I went through our finances and suddenly was feeling better about everything. Then, yesterday comes and I'm right back where I started from.
Initially I was angry, although I tried to control it. "It's mine, mine!" I screamed in my mind driving around yesterday thinking grim thoughts about other places that we could cut to make sure the work was paid for and I got to salvage something. Then I was reminded of a saying Larry Burkett used: "God promises to meet our needs, but not necessarily our wants". The very reason that I had that money may be to pay for this without crippling our family budget.
But those wants - picking up a theme I had been mulling over this weekend - extended not just to money but to fundamental root of life itself, time. I tend to regard my time at work as my own, the payment that I get for having to commute to and work at a place I don't particularly care for. The reality is (much like my money) my time is not really for me: it's for my God and my family. That's the reason I have it.
If I start from that perspective it changes everything: when I leave for work, what I do before work, what I do after work (i.e. what do I do while my kids are still awake), what goals I set for myself with hope of achieving.
If I don't get to do all my projects before I die, it has little eternal impact. If I fail to serve God and lead my family, it has a huge eternal impact.