In Touch August 23, 2012
Posted on August 23, 2012 by under Touché,

The Seasons of a Man’s Life

I start a new season of life on Thursday.  Cathy and I are driving with Andrew out to Hope College.  This past Sunday we drove with Sarah up to her AmeriCorps assignment at Triform Farm in Columbia County. We will come home to a house with neat rooms, a place to park my car, dishes put in the dishwasher, lights off when we wake up in the morning…and I will be able to watch what I want on the downstairs T.V.  It will be quiet. It will be weird.  It will be the end of a season.

I have tried to appreciate every spill, every bill and every time my voice gets shrill these past few months knowing that I may be calmer, but something will be missing.  I was looking at my 6’4” son folded up in the back seat of our car asleep the other day.  I stole a moment to simply watch him breathe.  It was not long ago that I would do the same thing at his crib.  I was looking at my daughter’s back as we drove up the Taconic on Sunday; I thought this is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, and Sarah shows it in so many ways.

There is something sacred about launching the next generation into new seasons in their life.  It is trusting the providence of God, spoken over their lives in baptism and lived through each dirty dish and frustrating moment.  I sound like the old master of cliché when I say it all goes so fast and seems like a snap of the finger.  The Psalmist says: So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

The poets put it in different words, but they speak to me in similar ways:

Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?” (Emily in Our Town by Thornton Wilder)

The stage manager’s answer to Emily is: “No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.”

So pray for me and I will pray for you that we all may see the beauty of grace in every minute, and in our moments of frustration find the whisper of eternity that invites us to number our days to gain a wise heart.

Yours in the minute.