It’s Friday morning and time to check in for a few smiles. Life may be exceptionally challenging at the moment, but the beautiful core of the human experience remains consistent and encouraging.
Rebekah experienced this when she connected with our grandchildren in Miami earlier in the week. Our daughter Naomi managed to make this a complete surprise by telling David and Beks they were having dinner at the airport so they could watch the planes.
“Wow! That’s something different, what a great idea,” David said. “And on a school night? Awesome!”
The picture tells the story.
We are both very sad Naomi’s family has moved so far away (it was an amazing blessing to have them close by in Richmond these past five years). But children are more resilient than adults, and it was good for Rebekah to see how they’re settling in to their new home, learning new routines at their new school, and enjoying the neighborhood pool. Craig is already working hard at the new job – doubtless making a positive impact, and the family has already visited their neighborhood church. I’m so glad Rebekah got to go.
Meanwhile, here in North Carolina springtime is making a serious run at coming a month early. In consequence, I’ve been able to take my dad out for more walks. The fresh air and exercise is good for him, and no matter how comfortable their home is it’s important to get out as often as possible.
The world is in the business of renewal:
The early spring flowers make a good case for the fact that this world – troubling though it is – is also in the self-renewal business. There is nothing like a bank of daffodils bursting forth to remind me that, always and despite the scope of devastation, it is new life that gets the upper hand.
I am reminded of the classic text from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens:
a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
a time for killing and a time for healing,
a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
a time for crying and a time for laughing,
a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
a time for searching and a time for losing,
a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
a time for loving and a time for hating,
a time for war and a time for peace.
And then the writer points out a most marvelous truth about human beings and our relationship to The Creator: “God has made everything fitting in its time, but has also placed eternity in their hearts…” (verse 11)
It is as if we have two clocks set in the operating system that guides our sense of self. One is the incremental, predictable tick-tock of minutes, hours, days, months, and years – and the other is eternity. We live at this interface of mortal and immortal, perishable and imperishable, finite and infinite, mundane and spiritual, time and eternity.
What we too easily forget is that both are equally real. We must not let uncertainty in what is temporal shake our confidence in what is eternal.
Peace, and hope too. Peace and hope – DEREK