Sunday, June 27, 2010

Milestone or Millstone?

Aaaah... Summer is here.  Not that I'm a big fan -- give me a sweet spring morning or a brisk fall day, and I'm a very happy camper-- but this is the time for...?  Rivulets of sweat?  Barbecue?  Work?  It's not like we're kids anymore, and the long days of summer mean three months of freedom, but the milestones we've passed in the last few weeks still mean accomplishment -- don't they?

As Christine's evaluator reviewed a year's worth of accomplishment -- tests taken and passed, or not, projects and assignments -- that very moment was the end of Christine's sophomore year -- a milestone.  At Vacation Bible School on Friday I watched children burst through the doors of the church hall, spilling out onto the lawn, ready to spend lazy days swimming and playing -- VBS heralds the start of summer fun.  Last night as Christine flew across the stage as a bat in Sleeping Beauty, she reached another cairn -- one, she noted (as if I needed reminding), that means only two more years until she does her senior solo and dances her way off to adulthood.  These next two years will be full of such events.

Sometimes I realize I am living my life only to reach the next mile marker.  "If I can just get through the next week, I'll be able to relax "  "If I can just get this bill paid, we'll be ready for the next thing that comes along."  Well, by next week my house needs cleaning again, and the bills for next month are starting to arrive.  It's no wonder folks today are medicated, stressed out, depressed and empty; so much pressure is like a millstone, and it drags us down.  No one wants to be a grasshopper, fiddling life away with no preparation for the future or exhibiting a poor work ethic.  I was raised by ants.  My father was in his seventies when he stopped working at least two jobs; my mother filled her spare time (between a full-time job and "momming") by volunteering, and at almost eighty years young, she works every day outside the home.  But God didn't make flowers and sunsets for us to ignore.  What is the point in His gift of beauty if we are constantly working around it or putting it off until we have time for it?  Which, if you're an ant, is never.  God rested after six days, not because He needed it, but because we need it.  It was another gift to us -- the gift of rest, rejuvenation and play!  God didn't look at mankind after six days and say, "Good.  Well, now that that's over with, I think I'll read a bit."  There was plenty of work to be done, for the next ten thousand years or so, but God set aside time to pause, stop racing toward the next milestone, enjoy the fruits of His labor, enjoy us.  How about making it our next objective to follow His lead?

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