A memory appeared in my Facebook feed this week. Six years ago I wrote: “If this baby was born as early as my son was born, she would have arrived last Saturday. So, I still have 2 weeks to go – but have been pregnant longer than I was the first time!” Now, I doubt anyone really cared about this little piece of information, but I certainly did. I cared a lot! I was gigantically pregnant and counting down the days!
Well, that little baby – my youngest – is about to turn 6. She is beyond excited! The official countdown started once we hit May, and we now have a morning routine. At breakfast each morning, she’ll ask: “Alexa – how many days until May 18th?” Then her eyes will light up with excitement as one more day is counted down!
But I know this special day – her 6th birthday – will come and go in a blink. Then we will all move on and look forward to our next big event. When you are living it, some days seem to be dreadfully slow. Yet as we look back on a certain phase in life, it moves remarkably fast.
Through life, there are times which are joyous, filled with fun and excitement. There are also seasons of life filled with anger, sadness or deep grief. (To everything , turn, turn, turn – right?) We mark life by events: weddings, the birth of children, graduations, even illness and death. It helps us track where we are in this mysterious timeline we call life. But these events pass, and the intervals between momentous occasions move faster and faster.
Suddenly, you are left wondering where time has gone. I stare at these two young people that I once held in my arms as new babies and wonder what, exactly, has happened to the last 10 years?! I easily get sucked into this mental struggle as I attempt to comprehend the passage of time and my place in it. The world is big and time moves fast – have I appropriately used the days given to me, how many days are left, has my existence served any purpose??
To cope, I stop and consider one constant. The one thing which never changes in this long time line – the presence of God: Creator, Savior, Healer. This might make one seem small – one little soul in an endless stream of lives. But for me, this knowledge is grounding! We do not need to dwell in the past, or dream only about events in the future. We are free to live in the here and now; not focused on the unknown timeline but living in the present. We are free to live fully aware of God’s love for the world, and through that love our ability to offer love to one another!
I guarantee that much like my daughter counting down the days until her birthday, I will continue to look toward the next big thing. But I cannot let this take me outside of right now! I must live life with eyes open each moment for ways to BE loved and SHOW love. When I look back upon life and consider my purpose in it, there will be no regret, no matter how quickly or confusing the passage of time!
Grounded. Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God!