|Originally Posted on August 12, 2010 at 2:03 PM|
It’s been a long hot summer here in Southern Ontario, my days moving as slow as the season.
One of my favourite summertime occupations is dinner on the patio with my husband. Sometimes friends join us for a long, lazy chat, and as we watch the sun set slowly from my patio most evenings, it seems that the days themselves are reluctant to end. Like the sun, I’m not in a hurry, perhaps lulled into laziness to match the days.
My focus during these hot months seems to be far from computers and words. Time with family and friends has taken priority over everything else. Shopping and lunch in St. Jacobs with my high school chum; hanging out at my nephew’s pool catching up with family members, catching dinner and a play in Stratford with nieces, walking Bayfield’s main street, window shopping and people watching while helping my husband eat his sugar free ice cream. Time pretends to stand still.
But time showed it’s true blazing colours just last week when I went to a convention in Fort Worth, Texas, with a friend. To my great delight my daughter joined us part of the way through, and my friend’s cousin’s daughter was there as well. I truly loved spending time with Gillian and hearing more details of her recent short film shoot and what’s coming up next in her life. It was fun, too, to listen to Jackie’s excitement and hopes for the future.
I couldn’t help but think of how old Gillian was the first time we went to the conference in 1989. Back then I was just a few years older than she is now.
During the week I saw many young men and women who were children when we started going to the conference. Some of them were there now with their own babies!
All of that, as well as spending time with my friend from years back—recalling events of the past and catching up on our children’s lives—made me somewhat nostalgic.
And I wanted my youth back! My old friends, my little girl. Time had gone too fast!
Then my former student, “Jamie” in Keepers of the Testimony, drove 2 1/2 hours from Austin to spend an afternoon with us. As I waited for him in the lobby of the hotel, my eyes examined every twenty-something young man who walked in. I had sent him to the wrong hotel (actually, to the wrong city) so I had lots of time to get a little nervous about our meeting.
And then there he was, striding toward me with the smile that brought me back to 1994. I rose from the fireplace hearth and went to meet him with a warm hug. We drew apart and, looking at me rather bemusedly, he joked that he had expected someone much taller. As I pulled back from the hug, I examined his face and found in it the face of my ten-year-old fourth grader. I so wanted to pinch the cheeks of the young boy I remembered. I’m sure he appreciated that I didn’t!
As four of us visited over lunch and then had a quiet time in the sitting area far enough from the third floor pool to give privacy, I made my peace with time.
As I thought about all that had transpired in his life in the years since I had last seen him, I was so thankful for where he is right now. God has brought him “through it all” to a good place. Like all of us, he’s on a journey and not yet where he wants to be, but he’s thankful and joyful for God’s presence in every passing day. I saw it in his eyes and heard it in his voice.
And then I saw something about time. “Seed-time and harvest” is an inescapable physical and spiritual law. Fruit must ripen or it doesn’t reach its potential. As in nature, the passing of time is a necessary element in bringing the beautiful fruit of righteousness to maturity.
And children must not remain children, and we must embrace growing older. Time is a vehicle by which God releases us into our destiny—and every stage of our destiny has its own glory, its own purpose and delight.
Psalm 23 speaks to the passage of time. It lets us know that for the believer it is good and, even better, it doesn’t end.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).