Last Tuesday I was sulking around the house complaining about the passing of the summer and how it goes by so fast. Personally, I think I have a right to complain in my own house. After all, I pay the mortgage, the taxes and the utilities, that is, when I think of it. The only thing I do not pay, is attention to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, which has cost me a lot more than the mortgage, taxes and utilities put together.
I was pensively looking out the back sliding glass door muttering to myself and indulging in full-fledged sulkiness without realizing my wife was in the same room.
"My stars," she said, "if you didn't have anything to complain about, you'd complain about that."
Turning around I saw her standing there staring at me with both hands firmly placed on her hips. From her countenance, I knew that I had not heard her last word on the subject.
"Don't you know," she said, "that time marches on and we need to be thankful for that."
"Yes," I said rather wistfully, "I know time marches on but couldn't it just take a rest every once in a while and allow me to catch up? Even the calendar takes an extra day every four years to get caught up."
After a brief moment, my wife broke the silence and said, "What would you do if you ever did catch up?"
Well, she had me there. I can vaguely remember once in the mid-80s when I did actually catch up, but a lot of good it did me. I am further behind now than ever.
I wonder if anybody really does catch up with time. Good old Father Time has a way of marching on and on without stopping for anyone. Some talk affectionately about Mother Nature but it is Father Time we have to look out for.
It is not so much catching up with Father Time, but rather, it is when Father Time catches up with us. Just look at all those wrinkles on our face; you can be sure Mother Nature did not carve them into our faces.
My wife's comment set me to thinking. What would I do if I ever were caught up with everything? Of course, there is always the probability that if I ever did catch up with time I would be so happy, and celebrate so much that it would not be long before I was behind the times again.
Many people take great pride in being on top of things and ahead of the crowd and up with the times. They know the latest happening and the latest advance in technology and take great pains and telling everybody, me in particular, about it all. By the time they finish explaining to me the latest advance they find themselves behind the times and need to catch up again, which is an endless and vicious cycle.
This brings me to my point. Why do I need to be caught up? What is the advantage of being on top of everything and knowing the latest technological doodad promoted on television by some over rated celebrity? What is the great advantage?
Many people wear themselves out trying to keep up with the Jones's when they could just relax and enjoy themselves. That is my point. All this pressure to keep up with the times and with the Jones's has just about worn me out. The fact that I do not know any Joneses has made this even more difficult.
As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with the old ways. Much that passes for "new," today is nothing more than a bad caricature of something old. Some people would just die if they were caught with something old. But for me, I would prefer things to slow down just a little bit so that I can savor the time.
I am not in any rush for anything. I do not know what people are hurrying to do. There is so much rushing here and rushing there that by the time some people get where they are supposed to be, they are so out of breath they cannot appreciate where they are.
It used to be that people would sit on their front porch after supper, rock and talk and rock some more enjoying the fellowship of solitude. I cannot remember the last time I saw a front porch. Everybody is too busy to sit on the front porch and watch the world rush by.
A friend of mine used to say, "You only pass this way once so enjoy the journey." Many, so anxious to get where they are going, they do not appreciate how they got there. So focused are they on the destination, they fail to be grateful for the scenery. Some people are so anxious for tomorrow that they cannot enjoy today.
Remember, today will be the yesterday you will think about tomorrow.
The Bible has much to say on this subject. I particularly like this verse, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that" (James 4:14-15 KJV).
Enjoy today because tomorrow is never certain for anyone.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship,