Friday, June 19, 2009

days, weeks, and months

Mary gave me a new calendar for Father's Day. It begins July 1, 2009 and ends December 31, 2010. Eighteen months, seventy eight weeks, five hundred and forty nine days.......all blank. It is a great gift. The gift of anticipation, yearning, dreaming, and planning. The gift of the future yet to unfold. I begin to fill in the blanks. The first week of July; the birth of Sarah and Todd's son is expected, grandchild number 7. I skip past the summer months to November and write in the anticipated birth of Josh and Elizabeth's daughter, grandchild number 8. This will mean that each of our four biological children have two children, a boy and a girl for each. How symmetrical and how wonderful for the grandparents.

Thinking of the family leads me to write in our family gathering at the end of August each year on the shores of Lake George. I then block off the winter weeks when we plan to be in Florida enjoying the warmth of the sunshine state as our house groans under the weight of the winter snow and ice. We are renting a house on a lake this year and I look forward to fishing for those big Florida bass.

There are opportunities for ministry to plan for also. A couple of weddings, the ordination of Jennifer Peters McCurry on August 29th. Jen has asked me to preach at the service. It is such an honor. Jen attended the congregation I served and I have known her since she was a young child. This will be the second young woman from our congregation whose ordination I am blessed to participate in.

I have received an invitation to serve as the main speaker at a youth gathering of Senior High youth that will be held in Niagara Falls in mid-March. Another honor and surely a blessing to be able to share in the excitement and energy of that event. The planning for what I will say will never be far from my mind the next nine months. Later that same month I will turn 65 years old. What a sense of humor God must have to give me this opportunity in this season of my life. Conversely, this November, I will be speaking on "Faith and Aging" for a Senior group.

So it goes, as I fill in a date here and a date there but most of the days remain blank. This is when the excitement grows. What surprises await me on these monthly pages, what joys and sorrows are yet to be? I am reminded of Jesus' words as recorded in Matthew.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Therefore I choose to anticipate the next year and a half with hope, excitement, and gratefulness.

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