It’s All Borrowed

stop watchI wrote a post for today. And I was passionate about the topic, and wrote fluidly and clearly.

I scheduled it to publish at 8:30 this morning. And then an hour after arriving at work a colleague came running. “You’re a nurse? Come quick, we need you.” 

I am not a clinical nurse, I’m a public health nurse/educator. But God gives grace for the moment and emergency mode went into high gear. Pulse taking, cold compresses, sitting on the ground with a woman I’d never met, waiting for the ambulance. It’s minutes that count. It’s moments that change lives.

And all of it? It’s all borrowed. These bodies, these lives – they’re borrowed, we don’t own any of it.

I stop by a colleague/friend’s desk afterwards, both of us usually gregarious at this time of day, laughing about our families and their (our) flaws. Known as the loudest in the office, we talk quietly. She was at the emergency room last night with a father-in-law. They talked options with a doctor. They talked ‘end of life’, ‘resuscitation’, ‘medication’, – it was hospital speak.

“It’s all borrowed” she said. “We think we’re living better but we’re really living more. We want more this, more that – even the good times we want more of them. More house, more vacation, more money. If we were living better, we’d recognize this borrowed time, borrowed life. But we’ve confused better with more.”

A friend posts on Facebook that a bomb went off in Kabul. Across town. They are not hurt – but their friends have windows blown out of their homes, and for sure people have died.

Nothing to wake you up on Tuesday like realizing it’s all borrowed.

And I think about how careful I am when I borrow something from someone. I care for it. I use it wisely. I bring it back. I repay it.

What will I do with my life today? What will you do with your life today?

Because it’s all borrowed.

“You are not your own. You were bought with a price. Therefore, Honor God with your bodies” 1 Corinthians 19b,20

14 thoughts on “It’s All Borrowed

  1. Thank You Marilyn! Such true and sweet thoughts. I really enjoy reading your blog. Miss you and think of you and your family often!


    1. Jeri — it’s soo lovely to hear from you. We think of you so often, would love to reconnect. Do you have my personal email? Would love to chat more!


  2. Your post is timely. My father-in-law passed away week before last, just as we were headed north to watch his eldest granddaughter graduate from university and begin her working life at her dream job in New York City. I know it’s part of the pattern, the circle of life but I appreciated the reminder that we are all on borrowed time. And we should make the most of it. On Thursday we will honor his wishes by throwing a party, with good food and drink and lots of friends and family. And I will continue to try making each day count, from here on out. Thank you, Marilyn.


  3. My wonderful Aunt Meg said on her 70th birthday – “I’m on borrowed time from now on”. She lived for 33 and a half more years, all but thee last four in her own home, and was having people to stay right to the end I was married from her home, which was really my home too.

    Since becoming 70 I too am conscious more and more of “borrowed time” and feel the call to become holy – this may take a while as I have a lot to learn!!


  4. so true…and just what I needed to hear since my 3rd child (and only son) was married on June 8; all 3 kids married between July 23, 2011 and June 8, 2013. Although all 3 have been basically out of our home since high school graduation (coming up on the 10th year anniversary of the eldest high school graduation), their marriages have set me back…which is crazy b/c all 3 have married spouses who know and love the Lord, whose parents have modeled longevity in marriage, who have been Christ-followers since childhood and practice their faith…so now, why do their marriages seem to make their departure so final? Why am I anxious (ME…the non-worrying parent in our family) about how they are doing…and want to call them back for one more bit of “motherly instruction” before I really have to let them go?? Very timely words to remind me that God lent them to me and that only by His Grace and Love have they chosen to follow Him…NOT b/c of anything that I said BUT b/c of Him…thank you so much for being open to share what God lays on your heart….between you and Ann Voskamp, I could almost give up Oswald’s daily instruction :)


    1. I’m so glad you mentioned the worry that can attack for our adult children. You’ve reminded me once again that it’s not just my life that’s borrowed, but my kids too are “on loan”. Thank you. Your words about Ann Voskamp and I made my eyebrows go to the ceiling and my mouth open in Happy delight! That was so kind. She has far more poetic insight but I still love that you read us both :)


  5. I am sure that the scheduled post was fantastic, but this one was the right one for me to read this morning. I thank you for living it. I thank you for seeing it. I thank you for writing it. I thank you for posting it. Now may it sink it to this hard skull of mine so that every minute of borrowed time is treated with the care that the One who loans it treats me.


    1. Did you know that when Cliff brought that book back to our house two years ago I rolled my eyes and said “it’s bigger than the Bible!” With lots of exclamation points in my voice. That was two years ago – now the ‘reluctant Orthodox’ (my name for myself) is being drawn to read it. Not quite there but heading that direction. Thanks Aaron for your friendship and instruction and I mean that in the best way possible.


Add to the discussion...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s