Whitney's Parable of the Lost Beans

On Monday my mother-in-law stopped in from Idaho and brought us about a zillion green beans, fresh picked from her garden. I was thrilled since we didn't plant any this year.

We began snapping them and preparing them to be bottled.But alas, this week was quite a busy week. I had several things to do everyday--some days I was hardly home at all. Swimming lessons, meetings, performances...not to mention a huge sale at Albertsons that took me way-too-many-hours to clip coupons for. All week the beans were on my mind. I stressed over them, knowing that I had to get to them soon. Everytime I was in the kitchen, there they were, hundreds of green reminders that time was running out.

Finally this afternoon I had a clear schedule and deemed it "bean time." After cleaning and preparing all the bottles and lids, boiling all the water, and preparing the pressure cooker-- imagine my horror to discover that the beans were ruined.

I was sick. Seriously. If you had come over this afternoon you would have seen the twin words "regret" and "guilt" tattooed on my forehead. All those hours my mother-in-law spent hand picking every bean. All the hours my family spent snapping them. All the beans--gone, ruined, wasted. (Oh, how I HATE it when things go wasted--time, money, food--I hate wasting.) I actually cried over this. And I was super grumpy. But as I was scooping the martyred veggies into the trash I had a flash of insight.

Today's waste was just beans. Just beans. Tomorrow's waste could be something much bigger. It could be time that I did nothing with, a child that grew too fast, or a lost opportunity. Who wants to live with regret and guilt, wishing they had spent their time in different ways? Not me! I made some choices, and lost the beans. The things I did with my time were important and somethings were even necessary. But it doesn't change the fact that the beans are gone and I can't reclaim them.

What are the more important things I won't be able to reclaim? All too soon I won't be able to reclaim Braden's childhood or the chance to help a friend when she really needs it or the moments I still have to tell my Grandma I love her. How would it FEEL to look back and realize that those things had been lost, wasted, because I was so busy with other things?The scary thing is that I know it could happen. I know that it happens to people all the time. How do I keep it from happening to me? How do I make every moment count, in the right ways? I don't have the answer, and I think it will take some time before I can figure it out. But today's tutoring has made it loud and clear: today's beans may not keep 'till tomorrow!