Monday, November 16, 2009

Swiftly the Days

I’m disturbed.
Time is passing much too fast
for me to keep up.
My head whirls to keep track
of dates and events I thought
so recent.
Are you sure that was last year?
Two years ago?
I’m getting old – well,
older anyhow.
What I mean to say is
I’m getting older
too fast to be possible!
This isn’t real – how these days
zip by
like soap slipping from wet hands.
I can’t seem to get a grip
on my life.
Lord, please supply some traction!

Can you relate? I can relate all too well. More years have passed since I penned these disquieting thoughts than the number of years I had lived at that time – 34 more years as a matter of fact. And I just thought life was moving on along then! An even more daunting truth: My three older kids are 10 to 15 years older now than I was then. I can’t think about that too long. Messes with my brain.

Nowadays, I’m fortunate if I know the day of the month. I can still pretty well tell you if it’s Monday or Tuesday, but don’t ask me more than that. And by the way, what happened to September and October?

I wish someone had sat me down long ago, looked me straight in the eye and said: “Live TODAY. Do not long for tomorrow, for whatever reason. Do not wish away today! God’s precious gift to you is now, the present, whatever that involves. Give God time to work in this moment.”

As a child, when I complained about time dragging (what kid doesn’t believe time dawdles?), my mother would always remind me that “tomorrow never comes.” The first time she said this I begged to differ with her. With a smile of triumph she pointed out, “What day will it be tomorrow? Will it be called tomorrow, or today?”

Don’t be the mommy who isn’t satisfied very long with her baby’s little feat of rolling over from tummy to back because she wants baby to sit alone. Then sitting alone isn’t enough; it’s time to crawl, baby! So baby crawls, but wait; now walking is the thing! When that golden moment happens, however, our hurry, hurry mother very quickly begins dreaming of pre-school; she had no idea of the mischief one little child would get into after becoming mobile on two legs. Don’t let on-going impatience make your children’s early years only a blur after all of you are older. Don’t rush – savor and enjoy. Before you can turn around good, those children will have spouses and children of their own. Trust me. And I’m not trying to be morose and gloomy. (If I wanted to be morose and gloomy I’d quote that old song about “we are going down the valley one by one, with our faces toward the setting of the sun. That song always gave me the creeps.)

We can be impatient in any stage of our lives – and be robbed and cheated because of it. Wishing away grade school, then high school, followed by the longing to graduate college to dive into the “real world.” What’s next? Watching the clock every day until 5 p.m., (especially on Fridays), to run away from that real world, impatiently enduring the grind of each week until retirement. The sad part is that, after racing through life to attain that prize, many discover it’s not the utopia they’d conjured up in their minds. Gracious, time zooms by like an Amtrak train as it is – why do we insist on accelerating it?!

Could our practice of blurring our way through our days be a form of soul sleep? Perhaps. To which Scripture says,

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people). Making the very most of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:14-1).7 Amplified Bible