I always get a little “hitch-in-my-heart” when I see the young ones going back to school again. I remember when I was their age, and the wonder of the summer which never seemed to end. It stretched out from the end of school in early June until after my birthday at the end of August. Amazingly, I never ran out of things to do, even if most of them were rather mundane. My folks and I would always take a vacation trip every summer – we went all over the west and mid-west. We never ventured east of Minnesota, though, where one of my Dad’s sisters lived. But, travel we did, and it laid the foundation of the wanderlust which still fires my imagination.
I mentioned recently that I had reread John Steinbeck’s, “Travels with Charley: In Search of America.” Written in 1960, it’s the story of Steinbeck’s journey across America to see how much of the America of his youthful travels of the 1920’s and 1930’s was still around. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country; with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. In many ways, the America of his memories was not the America of 1960. The changes he encountered left him more than a little perplexed and frustrated.
That’s the way it is, isn’t it? We really “can’t go home again.” The more we want to keep things the same the more they change. Our world is changing right before our very eyes! It’s out of our control to make time stand still, even if we wanted to. As we age, subtle and not so subtle changes occur in our lives no matter how hard we work to ward them off. That’s just the nature of life. When Erin and I travel, I get a kick out of watching young families just starting out, trying to cope with the exigencies of children, pets and jobs. I can’t help but laugh at their trials and tribulations. I try to encourage them by telling them it won’t always be this way – it only gets worse!
The one constant in our lives is God’s love for all of God’s people. No matter the changes, God is still in charge. That knowing comforts me – it gives me strength and courage to continue moving forward. At the end of the day, I know the God who granted me this day will protect me as I sleep, and will bring me, refreshed, to a new day. How long that will last, I haven’t got the foggiest idea. But I do know that at the end of my days, the God who birthed me will be the One who welcomes me home to the New Jerusalem, the city where God resides. Do I miss the highways and byways of my youth? Of course, I do! But with the advent of new highways comes new adventures, and that gives me great hope for the future!
Grace & Peace, Kent