I've found myself asking this question a lot lately. Over the weekend, I was getting ready for someone to come and paint several of the rooms inside my house.
I didn't want to change colors, but just give everything a freshening up. I knew I had a paper with all the color names and paint numbers, but it took me awhile to find it. Who can remember names like Jersey Cream and Caen Stone? With a tip I must have gotten from Martha Stewart, I had created a little chart that had all the paint names and numbers, along with the corresponding paint swatch. What a great idea! :)
As I was looking at my little chart, a note at the top struck me. I had created it just as my new house was in the final stages of a major renovation, and I had written the date, February 26, 2003. Almost ten years ago. Unbelievable. Where did the time go? Ten years of family visits, simple dinners with friends, parties, Bible Studies, and deep conversations with others. Ten years of springs, summers, winters, and falls.
The paint on my walls was showing its age, and now, after the fresh paint is on and everything is looking clean and new, I had a sense of contentment this morning as I sat with my morning coffee, preparing my notes for my first class tonight.
I've got 18 sixth graders this year, and I can't wait to introduce them to the theme of this year, the Old Testament. What stories! What personalities! What faithfulness and mercy!
Of course, as I have been preparing my lesson plans, I silently asked myself, what happened to summer? Where did the time go? Did I accomplish all the plans I set out to accomplish? Well, I guess I've had mixed results, but most of it in the yes category.
Maybe, like my walls, I'm starting to show my age, but I find myself thinking about the swiftness of life, and how quickly time passes. Maybe it was my 30th High School reunion in August. Maybe it was the recognition that I've been living in my house for a decade. Maybe it's just sitting down to prepare my lessons for another year of teaching. Who knows?
In the end, my friends, life is short, and it seems to go faster and faster as we grow older. No matter what our ages and circumstances, it's good to make a review of things from time to time. How are you really doing? What have you accomplished, what new things do you want to do? What needs to be reconciled, forgiven, forgotten?
Spend a little time on this in the next few days. The fall season is a great time for reflection. If you don't have one, why don't you pick up a little journal and start making some notes.
It there's one thing I want my sixth graders to learn from me this year is just how faithful God is to us. We are so blessed to have a God of second chances. When we think about how quickly time passes, I hope at the end of the day we'll be able to rejoice in how much we've done, instead of how many things we just never found time for. As the sun rises outside my window, I know I've been given another chance to really make it a great day. It's the same for you. I hope you'll take advantage of it :)