The golden glow of autumn spreads across our land as summer comes to a close in our hills and hollers. The green leaves on the trees have a yellow tinge, and some of the underbrush is turning to shades of crimson. There is still plenty of sunshine and hot sultry days, but the melancholy cry of the katydids grows louder each night, and the crickets make their plaintive chirping.
One lonesome red blossom hangs on the Rose of Sharon bush, and it is ready to fall. Like the last rose of summer, it is tenaciously clinging to the branch, but it is hopeless. One good stiff wind, and it will join the other blossoms on the ground. The seasons come and go, and summer always seems so short. We still have the glorious fall season as a balm before winter’s blast, and I welcome it each year.
We should be thankful for each day, and savor it to the fullest, The days have a way of slipping through our fingers; gone before you know what happened, and soon it is weeks, months, years–already disappeared into the past.
Time is the most valuable commodity that we own, and yet we do not own it. It cannot be held, stopped or hoarded away. We are each allotted the same hours in a day, and for some, time may hang heavy on their hands. For most of us though, it melts away with astonishing rapidity. There is nothing that makes us more aware of the passage of time than a birthday. Another birthday is a cause for some serious reflection, and we wonder if the years have taught us anything. There is irony in the fact that most of our knowledge and experience comes too late to do us much good. We learn–or sort of learn–how to raise children by raising our own.
Pity the poor child who is the guinea pig. I thought everything had to be done by the book when I had Michael. I measured out his baby food by the teaspoonful, and made sure he was burped after exactly two ounces of milk. Somehow he survived.
By the time we have an inkling of what it is all about, our children have flown the nest and are out on their own. They are busy building their own nests and raising their own little brood and are not interested in our advice. Have you noticed though, that they feel quite free to point out the mistakes we made in raising them? Thus, the meager knowledge we gleaned through personal experience is quite wasted.
Looking back, we see changes that we could have made, and decisions that should have been different yet, at the time, we did what we thought was right. “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on, and all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.” (Omar Khayyam)
This applies to every area of our life. Who has not said, “Oh, if I could only do it over?” I think that is the deepest regret that anyone can have. The only remedy is to repent and gain God’s forgiveness, and go on. How much better to reflect at the beginning of each new day–to pray and ask God to guide and help us in every way. Then at the end of the day we can thank Him for His keeping power.
Our days are numbered. Most of mine are already gone, so I want to be careful how I use what is left. I have none to squander uselessly. The future may look depressing to all of us, yet I know the One who holds the future in the palm of His mighty Hand. He is dispensing our days one at a time–to be lived as we choose. I choose to live for Him. I know personally that God will keep the soul who trusteth in Him.
I received a letter some time ago that is worth passing on from a former resident of Campbell’s Creek–Bob (Kenny Abston.)
He wrote, “When I was a young man growing up on Campbell’s Creek, I combed my hair in a great pompadour. It was such a big wave that you could get seasick from looking at it. Back in those days we didn’t have hair spray or gel to hold our hair in place, so some of the guys would use Vaseline or some kind of grease which worked fine until you were out on a hot sunny day and the grease started to run.
“I, on the other hand, came up with a brilliant idea. I would make some real soapy water and comb my hair with it, and once the water dried out it would set up nice and hard. You could have run over me with a concrete truck and killed me, but my hair would not be hurt.
“In those days, if you were sweet on a girl, you could go to Sunday night service at the local church, and if she didn’t live too far from the church you could walk her home. Well, I was sweet on this young lady (I won’t mention her name to protect the innocent, and if her brothers are still alive it could cause me great bodily harm.)
“Anyway, I took great pains to make sure my hair was combed just right, and the pompadour was perfect. Off to church I went and sat on the back row. When service was over her dad gave me strict instructions on walking his daughter home, and said he would be waiting at home and not be too long.
“As with all good plans something pops up that you don’t expect, and in this case, it was rain. As we were walking home in the rain, I could feel my hair flattening out on the top of my head but didn’t think much more about it. As we stepped up on the porch, her dad turned the porch light on and opened the door and stepped out on the porch. He took one look at me with that “deer in the headlight look”, and the young lady that I had walked home also took a look, screamed and ran in the house. Her dad stepped back in the house and shut the door.
“When I looked in the glass on the door, it just about scared me to death. All the rain had turned the soap in my hair to a mass of soap bubbles, so much that it looked as if I was foaming at the mouth. Needless to say, I never got another date with that young lady!” (This is another true story from Campbell’s Creek.)