If you missed in person worship, you REALLY missed out. My friend, the Reverend Hadley R. Edwards took our in person worship to a whole other level. The word he brought was powerful and one that inspired us all. Thanks to him, the faithful choir members, Russ Rieger and our musicians for the day, the tech team, and all who were present. The Sunday after Easter is traditionally a low Sunday in attendance and enthusiasm, but that did not at all apply to our worship and fellowship experience. Praise God!!!
On Monday, Hadley and I were on our way somewhere in the car and he said, “You realize, 8 months from today we will be saying ‘Merry Christmas!’” That set me to thinking about how we mark our lives and the passage of time. We generally mark time in relation to special days, holidays, birthdays and such. Of course we start with New Years Day and all that is involved with that day. We move on to Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We sprinkle in days for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations. All of these days move us through the calendar year.
When we consider how the calendar is laid out, we see how we mark time. We mark it with celebrations and special times. Nothing at all wrong with how we divide up the year and track our days. My father always said “the older you get, the faster the days go.” It certainly can feel that way. When Hadley said we only have 8 months until Christmas, it was almost a shock to my psyche. The days are flying past so quickly, I can hardly breathe at the pace we seem to be hurtling. We are no sooner finished with one celebratory day, than we are on to looking at, and preparing for, the one coming up.
What about the intervening days? All those ordinary days that have no special importance attached to them, are they just the time we have to get through on our way to those bigger and seemingly more important days?
As a child, probably like most children, I can remember wishing to be older, wishing my birthday would hurry up and get here, that Christmas would come sooner than later. I suppose that’s normal for the young to be in a hurry to get to the days that are important to them. My mother always would say when I was wishing time would pass more quickly, “Don’t wish your life away.”I suppose that’s what a great many of us do, we race from one special day to the next, hardly taking notice of the days we skip over.
The older I get, the more precious every day has become. Each day is special unto itself. Are we honoring God’s gift of time and life? The days of each person on this earth are numbered, and none of us know what our number is. What if we looked on every day as if it were Christmas, Easter, Mother’s or Father’s Day? How would what we feel, what we say, how we act change? Instead of taking the days for granted, or seeing them as what we have to endure in order to get where we want to be, maybe those days would become precious to us.
Jesus in trying to convey to the Disciples the admonition against getting caught up in worry, said; “strive first for the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all things will be given to you. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.”(Matthew 6: 33-34) Jesus wanted to help those who follow him to appreciate the present, right now, for them to live for the moment. If we spend our days wishing for the next special day, we very likely will miss the unique and special moments God is providing in our present.
The Psalmist says, “This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”(Psalm 118;34). Every moment of every day is very, very precious and unique. It is a moment unlike any before it, and no moment after it will be like it.
I would really like to begin to treat every moment as if it were Easter morning. Anticipation of what the new day will be, what opportunity it will provide, what blessing I will discover. If in meeting you, I treat that moment as if it were your birthday, and engage with you in blessing and joy, what would our moments together be like?
When we rush through the days without thought concerning what we might be missing, we are indeed missing more than we can know.
I think I shall laugh more, cry more, let wonder envelope me more, see the world with a fresh perspective. I think each day brings a boost to us, if we let it. If each moment is seen and seized as full of potential and possibilities, then each moment will be used to its fullest without regret.
My days are numbered, of that I’m certain, but I want to make each moment count to its utmost. If I wish away or waste time, I can grow pessimistic, filled with angst about what isn’t happening, what isn’t there. But if I do as Henry David Thoreau said, “live deep and suck out the marrow of life,” I find God’s presence in every moment and I am filled with joy and optimism that can be imparted to all I come in contact with.
May God’s infectious and ever flowing love of life be poured into every moment of every day we live. This life is a gift of God, let us treat it as such and suck out all its marrow so that each moment is completely and utterly spent. Love everyone, give freely, live expansively, and let others see the gift of God in you being exuberantly burned up!
Your fellow traveler on the Way,