My oldest is less than a year from double digits. Presently I am sitting in the breeze watching him wearing his new watch, a backward hat, and pants-that should be too big for the four year old that's still ingrained in my mind-playing in the backyard I grew up playing in. It's Spring Break and the former teacher in me as well as the mama I am knows how sacred this time is. This blessed break before the final push to the end and we are spending the majority in the town where I grew up. The one that, for a long time, held the status of hometown in my heart before it was replaced with the even smaller one I share with my four fellas.
Written in my notebook is a page full of bullet points and quotes ready to be set into sentences on this my day of restful work, but like it does so often to us all, nostalgia has swept in and taken my mind to another place so those carefully crafted notes will have to wait for another day.
It never fails to effect me, nostaligia that is. Coming home or revisiting any places of your past self transports you to another time and another age. Memories sweep in ranging from the sweet and precious to the hard and scary, all quite necessary in the growing up process even if somewhat unwelcome. If you're like me, which hopefully some of you are or it's all a moot point or a moo point for those fellow friends fans, this is not an unknown feeling though the reactions that are brought to the surface are always up for grabs.
Never do you know if a memory will make you smile or feel stupid, embarrass or delight, bring laughter or tears, give you regret or relief. It's all a mix and for the emotional sort there's a chance for it to make or break your moment unless the Truth quickly floats to the surface and you see all of them for what they are in the details of the story God is writing in your life. Hope is never far from the surface as the promises given permeate every ounce of the being of one who belongs to Him.
However, no future can come without a past, no ending has ever happened without a beginning. As Oscar Wilde said, "Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." and seeing the road to and fro gives glory to no other than the One who created the way.
Next up on my Sunday mornings will be listening as our pastor starts a series on Ecclesiastes, the most modern of books though written thousands of years ago. Thanks to a mother who grew up in the 60s and a white-mustang driving high school boy whose memories though surprising to some only bring smiles to my face, I developed an early love for "hippie" music and Ecclesiastes 3 is a well loved verse by many who might not know the source of the words.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
There truly is a time for everything. Sometimes simultaneously in big bursts of activity and emotion. Sometimes in obvious sequential order like stairs leading to a new level. Sometimes in the back and forth motion of a see saw that leaves you more than a little seasick with all the flips and flops. Other times in quiet stages that move so slowly you are confident you are in the same place until you start to look around and see a completely different view or the same view with a completely different perspective. But it's always at the hands of the Author who sees that big picture and knows the beginning, middle, and end and the whats that must drive you there.
I'll tell you a secret, there's a strong desire within my heart to walk with others through their moments, sitting and either literally or figuratively holding their hand as they process through their 'everythings' whether they bring joy or sorrow. Then waiting and watching as they see and feel the way God changes them, see and understand the Hope that is brought through nothing but the work of Christ and the Spirit he left behind.
This is an impossibility without diving in first, without testing the waters before convincing another that the leap is totally worth it, without tasting and seeing that it is good. Through the widest range of emotions I can say, the water is rocky but perfect, the leap is scary but significant, and He is very, very good.
Pray for me, I'll be praying for you.