Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He. I am He who will sustain you. –Isaiah 46:4 NIV
Outside on a makeshift table—a wooden pallet resting on two waist-high saw horses—is the last batch of tomatoes from the garden. Glory hallelujah!
While I’m thankful for a good crop of tomatoes this year, I’m ready to throw in my canning towel. And while I’m not ready to throw out the gardening tools altogether, I am ready to make next year’s garden smaller. A dozen tomato plants instead of two dozen. No corn, since it hasn’t done well and takes up too much room.
And I wonder—what “plants” in my personal life take up too much room for what little they produce? Both time and energy are dwindling these days. I just remarked to someone yesterday—at a funeral, no less—that the older I get, the faster time goes and the slower I go.
Time doesn’t really move any faster than it did when I was 21, 31, 41, 51, or even 61. But here I am, nearly 66, and I’m just realizing this old, not-gray-yet mare just ain’t what she used to be.
This came as a shock. I saw others getting older and slower, and I knew that day would eventually come to me. But I wasn’t ready for it. And here it is.
What am I going to do about it?
First, prayerfully, thoughtfully, and carefully scrutinize my schedule and determine what to keep and what to cut. When you’re spread too thin, you can’t give your best.
I want—I need—rest and relaxation time to restore and refresh my body, mind, and spirit. This includes leisure reading, crocheting, and just sitting on the swing watching the leaves turn and the clouds float across the autumn sky. This has been lacking.
Family time is also important—my grandkids are growing up too fast—as is time to take care of household duties.
Then there are my ministries: my little flock (I’m a lay speaker/pastor) and my writing, which includes this column and fiction.
What to cut and what to keep?
A friend gave me a card I posted on my workstation that reads, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Psalm 37 gives some good advice as I ponder taking that first step:
Don’t fret (v. 1).
Trust in the Lord (v. 3; also see v. 4).
Commit my way to Him (v. 5).
Be still (v. 7).
Wait patiently (v. 7).
I’ll be the first to admit those last two are hard!
As I ponder and pray about what’s next for me, I rest on God’s promise: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He. I am He who will sustain you” (Isaiah 46:4).
Life circumstances change. People change. We change. But God never will.
What changes are you facing today?
Thank You, Lord God, that whatever my future holds, You are already there. Amen.