At a time when large gatherings are once again being discouraged, we came up with our own small New Year’s celebration. Old and young alike commemorated the ending of the old and the beginning of the new.
Most of the littles had no idea of the change of time, the movement into a new calendar year, another beginning.
It wouldn’t matter to them anyway–it was just another day to be with family, eat too much sugar, and enjoy any reason to play games and have fun. The context for them is this moment. It is now; not what is to come.
Celebrations happen in the now–holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births. All are in the moment. The distinctiveness of a particular day is the cause for remembering. Something ignored or put off can make a person feel their special day isn’t important to us.
What’s so delightful about children is their ability to remain in the moment. I had a conversation with almost-four-year-old Cal about how much longer it will be till his birthday.
“Now?” he asked.
“No, in two weeks. Fourteen more days.”
“Is that soon?”
“Sooner than later.”
That confused him no end. “What’s later?”
I gave up. We focused instead on his party and what he wanted to do to celebrate. Definitely a pinata. What’s a party without candy spilling everywhere?
Time is a funny thing. This past year slowed in moments when infections increased, isolation was encouraged, large gatherings were to be avoided. A friend was awaiting a proposal–time was frustratingly slow. Two friends are expecting children within the next month–they’re so excited about holding their new children that time seems to have applied the brakes.
When we have special times we want to savor, those opportunities pass quickly. An anticipated wedding approaches, and the day arrives and is over before you know it. A significant birthday passes quickly. Even more difficult are the times when loved ones are sick and are given limited time because of their illness, and that time disappears too quickly. Or someone we care for is moving away and the opportunities to be with them will be limited–by time.
We wait on God to help us understand Him better. To grasp His gift of forever love and forgiveness, to learn what it means to really walk with Him. For He has made us for a purpose–to know Him and be known by Him.
“Yet God has made EVERYTHING beautiful for its own time. He has planted ETERNITY in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
God has given us an intuitive sense that there is more to us than what we see and experience here. We have the now, but the not yet is coming. The time when life, as we know it now, will end.
Dealing with the not yet is significant, for none of us knows what tomorrow will bring. We have no guarantee how many years we have. We need to make the most of now and prepare for the not yet.
Heaven. Or not.
What will you prepare for?