Beginning at the End:
Funny how quickly this year has come and gone. Sometimes I wonder if there is a joke in the time passing, or if it really is faster than it was when I was a child. I saw every single year before I turned 13 as the slowest that time could ever crawl. I would wait for the next New Year’s Day, the next Valentine’s Day, the next last day of school, the next first day of school, the next birthday, the next Thanksgiving, and finally the next Christmas. They took forever to arrive and then when they were over, the complete anticipation of the event was somehow a bit of a let down. Not disappointing in any way, just very highly built up and then over so quickly. As I reached my teen years the time didn’t seem to move as slowly, but then I don’t think I was really paying as much attention to the small details that mattered before. The big picture was becoming smaller and I was completely engulfed in MY visions of these specific days. Definitely not as much like a child-like anticipation. Finally I reached my twenties and the time became speedier and speedier and I found myself wondering how much quicker time could pass. I am sad to say that I have been surprised to see that time can certainly go much faster as we age. Children are born, time moves fast. Children start growing up and time moves faster than that. Grown children are starting their own lives and, without fail and predictably, the years go by even faster. I had been told that time moves quickly as you age. Mostly older people told me that. They weren’t fooling. This year has been one of many interesting changes. Most not significant to anyone but our family, but our visions of the future have changed a bit, and while we still don’t know how things will eventually go, there is hope that we will be able to look back on 2018 as a learning year. A year that we sought God and sought the love of our family and friends to bring us to the realization that no matter how fast time goes by, we have been blessed and we have not forgotten to notice that God’s hands were cradling us the entire time. It is comforting to know that in uncertainty and stressful times, we have the knowledge that our lives have been orchestrated by the Lord and His blessings are available if we take the time to look and see them.
In the hurry of this Christmas season, it has been all too easy to forget the real issue and make plans that omit Christ altogether. While at the in-laws for Christmas we actually sang a Christmas song and did a family reading of Luke 2. It seemed to get a bit crazy at that moment and my mother-in-law set a different tone for us as she said that she hoped that when she is off this earth that her grand-children remember that she loved the Lord. It made me think. I wasn’t respecting the day or the issue or the purpose until I heard her say that. It was a good reminder that the birth of Christ was only the beginning and that all of the stuff in between our lives is based on this one fact; Christ was born and died and rose and because of that, my life can matter only if I let others know how much he loved me and how much I am willing to love him back. It is my job as a child of God to be a demonstration of his love. It’s more serious than just opening presents and eating and playing games. More important than just attending church for a Christmas program. More than looking at lights and getting in the crowds to “do the shopping thing”. It’s the beginning of the end of the year when we are called by God to celebrate that he loved us enough to let his son come down to earth. It is our time to make the next year a clear evidence of God’s love, and that means to everyone who crosses our path. I am beginning the end of this year with a new lease and stating that this year, I dedicate my heart to being used by God and allowing Him to shine through my life. I encourage each of you to seek what the Lord is showing you and follow his plan.