While traveling to a party this week, we found ourselves in front of an old church. Our timing was such that we paused at a red streetlight situated in front of the chapel. While waiting for the light to turn green, I noticed that the evening Christmas service had just concluded and those who had attended were in the process of exiting the building. I sat and smiled, watching the many festively-dressed folk joyfully shake each other's hands then merrily walk past the outdoor nativity display to reach their vehicles and head home.
Our exposure to this scene lasted the duration of the streetlight's traffic cycle. But during this time, I found myself looking past the busyness of the crowds and onto the silence of the church's small cemetery located in the field next door. By the looks of the gravestones, I had guessed that many dated back at least 100 years. In the center of the cemetery was the largest headstone engraved with the name "Miller" on it. As all the families and friends hustled around the exterior of the church, none bothered to glance at Miller's headstone sitting darkly, quietly. Coated in seasonal snow, I thought it was both ominous and beautiful... a reminder of times past and times ahead.
As we drove on, I started to think about how many Christmas services Mr. Miller had enjoyed in his time. I wondered about what his life may have been like. How big his family was. What his occupation may have been. How old he lived and how satisfying his years had proven. And in those years, I speculated about how often his lips might have spoken of Jesus's grace. How frequently did Mr. Miller seek after God with all his heart, soul, mind, strength. How intimate had he become with the Creator of all time, space, matter? Did Mr. Miller know Jesus as his Savior? Did he acknowledge and trust Him not only every Christmas, but as the King of his life? I wondered, did Mr. Miller hear the Almighty Father proclaim, "Well done, Miller!" once his last breath had concluded... after his time on earth had ceased?
The psalmist was right. Teach us, Lord, to number and take notice of our days. Guide us through each holiday and happening of this human life. And always... ALWAYS remain our eternal focus. May we fill ourselves with your Word. May we live knowing and speaking of your love to everyone we encounter. Our time here on earth is short and specifically designed by your hand to draw us closer to YOU. May our hearts be open to the wisdom of your Spirit so that we may enjoy the ominous beauty of your lasting presence... yesterday, today, forever.
One day, my body will turn to dust and a gravestone will likely be engraved in my own name, just like Mr. Miller's. In time, my life will fade away from this earth. I will be forgotten. My name will be passed by generations who did not know me. But not my Jesus. Not my eternal King. He will always remain. He will always be noticed. And His love for me will always endure. Yes, Jesus... He is my Rock and Redeemer... The Beginning and The End... The Alpha and the Omega! He is whom I wish to live pleasing and seeking and speaking of.
Really, what more in this life is worthy of our limited time?
This is the day!
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson