Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Gift of Time


Can you remember the last time you were simply handed extra time with someone one you loved? 

Yesterday, Audrey went home to Phoenix, but not until we had made the hour and a half drive to the airport did she receive the e-mail telling her that the flight had been cancelled and she wouldn’t leave for another 4 hours.
After she checked her bags and overheard a heated exchange between the passenger in line in front of her did she realize that her flight was delayed. As we sat and she read the e-mail and checked the website, another lady, sitting next to her began to bemoan the delay. 

                “My daughter lives 10 minutes away! She just left! We’ve said our goodbyes and I’ve hugged the grandbaby and cried, I just don’t know if I should call her, I don’t know if I can go through all that again!”  

Audrey and I glanced at each other and I told her I was an hour and a half away; not quite as convenient as 10 min. I didn’t mention this to her to “one up” her complaint. I was trying to help her see that her situation could be much worse; she actually had much to be thankful for. 

After chatting with the lady a bit more, we encouraged her to call her daughter, grab that time with that baby, and eat up every extra second she had been handed. You could see her mind recalibrating as she began to nod. The furrow between her eyebrows disappeared as a grin developed on her face and she began to dial her daughter. She grinned at Audrey as she walked away and said “I’ll see you later.” 

Audrey and I conferred and decided what we would do next. Her bags were already checked, and she had her boarding pass. When the time came I could drop her at the curb with her carry on, and head home while she simply strolled through security, and waited at the gate……..WOO!HOO! We were free to go and enjoy an additional 3 hours together we hadn’t counted on. We were thrilled!

As we left the airport, we talked about the differences in people’s reactions to this inconvenience. Do they see them as blessings or curses? Audrey and I chose blessings.  We could have complained about the aspects of how it all would alter and change our day, and our plans, but instead we rejoiced in the fact that we would get 3 more hours, just the two of us, to shop, eat lunch together, and chat it up.

It is the end of the year. A time when we often hear people bemoan the rapid passing of time. Yesterday reminded me that I am given gifts of time every second of every day………how I view them, usually determines how I use them, and if I make them count. 

Looking toward a new year I am reminded that my perspective of time is somewhat skewed anyway. In 2 Peter 3:8 the apostle reminds us:

"‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." 

After reading this again, I am reminded that time is a gift for which I need to be more thankful, and mindful of how I'm using it. As I begin 2014 I am going to place this scripture in a prominent place to remind me of a day when I was handed 3 hours to spend with someone I love and what a precious gift it was. 

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

He IS coming!



I like decorating for Christmas.

I like baking for Christmas. 

I like planning and gifting for Christmas.

I like Christmas. 

Anticipation

Preparation

I guess that is why when I read or hear people say that it is all just too much, and cut and slice and reduce and abbreviate and try to make it less than what it is; what it should be, I’m sad.  I read so much on the internet right now by people who are stressing and complaining about the holiday preparation, the burden of it. No time to do it, to hurried, to stressful, too expensive, TOO MUCH WORK!! 

It upends us. It messes with our routines, and our schedules. 

Nothing has changed. It messed with schedules when Jesus was born over 2000 years ago too. 

Zechariah and Elizabeth had settled into a routine of NOT having children. 

Joseph and Mary had settled into the ritual and preparation for betrothal and subsequent marriage. 

Then……
There were questions—then a silencing. 

There were doubts—then a Word. 

There was faith—then deliverance.

And there was birth—then Rejoicing!

If Christmas upends you, if it stresses you, if it all seems too much, stop and think about Elizabeth, and Mary, and Zechariah and Joseph. Maybe we are too settled into our routines; maybe Christmas comes every year to jostle us out of those routines, those rituals of time to remind us who IS time; really.

For someone important is coming.  

But in the midst of all that, I can’t forget that He is already here. In the midst of all that, He IS all that.

Because if He isn’t, then all that is just decorating and baking and……burdensome.   

You can’t stop His coming anymore than Elizabeth and Zechariah, or Joseph and Mary could.

 He is coming. He is HERE!

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”-- Luke 21:28