I used to enjoy reading Shakespeare. I even had a collection of his major works. Long gone.
I used to take my guitar outside and sing to the cows across the road, the squirrels in the trees, the birds flying around…never believing any human heard me. Thirty years later, one of our neighbors told my pastor when he, his wife, and I were doing visitations with the former neighbor’s brother, whom he was visiting, that he used to hear me all the time and wasn’t at all surprised I was on the worship team. My world – ministry work, music, planning, organizing – sometimes struggling to be what people expected me to be, do what they expected me to do. Long gone.
I used to enjoy playing chess. I had a beautiful teak chess set I bought at an estate sale. My dog decided it was a vast collection of chew toys. Long gone.
I used to enjoy long drives in the country, stopping at the conservation areas, taking pictures, being soothed by God’s creation. My years as a reporter led me to discover beautiful spots in the county to visit. Now, I don’t have a vehicle for long drives. Long gone.
I used to enjoy canning pickles. As a kid, my dad taught me how to grow cucumbers on the fence in our back yard, and later I used cucumbers that my dad grew and spent all of July making dill, garlic dill, and sweet pickles for whoever wanted them. My dad liked dill pickles – my primary motivation from the beginning. I enjoyed those days of Dad teaching me the few things about gardening I wanted to know-they were precious. He died twenty-four years ago. That shared pleasure – long gone.
But, greater joy lies ahead. The older I get, the more I am grateful for those things I used to enjoy because they were bricks in building the foundation of who I became, who I am becoming. Lessons learned in relationships, solitude, worship, sacrifice.
I will talk with my dad and mom again. I will walk in a beautiful landscape. I will sing again with a voice that doesn’t fade out or get froggy. Those are the things I know I’ll enjoy most in heaven. Reading, even writing, chess, and canning…I don’t know if they will have any level of importance for me there.
Most important? Being with Jesus. He is the author of this life I live, and He will perfect it according to His plan. My part in His plan is to be obedient, share Him; however, I can and bask in the joy this life has and continues to bring me.
But, for now, enjoy what you have, think fondly of the good in your past. Don’t let the good, or the bad, from your past hold you back from all God has planned for you. In Him, today is sufficient unto itself.
Blessings – Vicki
Note: I‘ve decided to take some Biblical courses, so time is going to be tight, and blogs will probably go back to one day a week—just a heads up for you who follow me.