It’s a miserable day at the beach, but the fireplace is on and Johnny Cash is in my headphones so all is not lost. Just a week ago I was preparing for a trip across the “Misty Mountains” to Boise wondering if my rental agency would come through with my much anticipated convertible. They came through and it didn’t disappoint. Joanne and I enjoyed the trip in a 2010 Mustang that had only 9 miles on it when I drove it out of the lot. We were even fortunate enough to get some “top down” weather to enjoy with it. Now here I sit in my big comfy chair on another Tuesday morning looking ahead into a schedule that looms like thunderclouds before a summer Midwestern storm.
This next 3 weeks is approaching like a train that has no ability to break. I just heard Gandalf say that “things have been set in motion that cannot be undone” as the restraining bar comes down over my head for the rollercoaster ride that is just beginning. I can hear the clack, clack, clack, as the car lurches up towards the big drop. The first hill that looms is April 15th. If you don’t know what that means then there is no use explaining it to you here…. Let’s just say that I’m not ready. I will be, but I’m not yet.
Just yesterday I discovered that I had lost 2 weeks from my end of the semester schedule. I was under some vague impression that the semester lasted longer than it really does which means an incredible amount of writing and reading accompanied by more writing, all due on April 30th. On the home front I have work waiting for me inside, outside, topside, and underneath. I have a princess and a queen to spend time with. Baseball had begun at Safeco and there are bobbleheads to collect. I have community engagements…. places to go, people to see…. A couple of movies and of course, there is this thing called my vocation as a pastor and artist for which I get paid. I have three weeks to get it all in before the bakeress and I are off again for some “R and R” in Sun River Oregon. Don’t weep for me Seattle.
So, as I’m tempted to do when my schedule looms, I am sitting, catching my breath and imagining what life might look like when May 1st arrives. I know where I want to be then. I know what I need to have accomplished. It could be easy to focus there and forget all of the in between, but I’ve been in this long again to realize that the key to May 1st is how I invest my time between now and then. It is my firm belief that we, as people, and especially as people of faith, have spent way too much time focusing on what we desire for our end that we don’t invest in the process of getting there. When it comes to eternity, we see our faith as a means to heaven, the end, instead of a blueprint for investing in the time here and now.
Jesus becomes our insurance policy instead of our purpose for being. What can result is the creation of many insensitive asses who are so enamored with the end date that they forgot to live the days in between. Jesus came to change the world, not just my world. For me in the immediate crisis of this chapter in my life’s schedule, I get to work like my life depended on it and then on May 1st I can rest. As far as my spiritual existence goes…there is an end date for me although I don’t know what it is; preferably not May 1st. One thing I do know though…. Until then I need to work like my life depended on it. The rest comes on the other side.