Revelations 1:4b: “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come…”
When Dubious was four years old, his older sister went off to kindergarten. He wanted to be in kindergarten. In kindergarten, he realized that 1st graders made fun of the kindergarten kids; he then wanted to be in 1st grade.
Once in 1st grade, he realized 6th grade was the place to be—the highest grade in elementary school. When he was in the 6th grade, 7th graders looked smugly at the sixth graders and said, “You’re still in elementary school.”
When he got to 7th grade, reality hit; he was the lowest on the totem pole. He wanted to be a senior. In his senior year, he grew tired of the one horse town he grew up in. He just wanted to be out of there.
He joined the military; after about the second month, he couldn’t wait to get out. After four years, he got out and went to college. Once in college, he was impatient as he wanted to get out and experience “the real world”.
Before he knew it, he was in the real world and he couldn’t wait for the day he could be out of the rat race. In the process, he got married and had a family. Days ran into nights; bills had to be paid, appointments made to be kept. He ran here and there to dance lessons, karate lessons, piano lessons, athletic games, plays and more. The house was full of his children and their friends. There was no time to sit down and rest.
Then one day he realized he was alone; the house was empty. He looked back with nostalgia wishing the house was busy again. His loneliness ate away at his heart.
The grandchildren came. His daughter called, “Can you baby-sit for Rusty and Becky tonight?” He said “yes” in anticipation. Later in the night a call came. “It’s late; can you keep the kids overnight?” They kept the grandkids overnight.
During the night, a thunderstorm ensued; Rusty and Becky dove into Grandma and Grandpa’s bed but you know the rules, “You can’t sleep in Grandma & Grandpa’s bed.” He sat up holding Rusty in his arms as the lightening flashed and the thunder rolled. Rusty barely moved; he was safe and secure in Grandpa’s arms. Grandpa was somewhat irritated; he had an early morning business appointment and wished he was in bed getting a good night of sleep.
Before he knew it, Dubious found he was alone in his nursing home room sliding in and out of reality. He couldn’t remember if his wife was dead or alive. He wished he was young again but that wouldn’t happen so he wished he would go home and be with Jesus. He could only remember one prayer; “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” During the night, he died in his sleep.
Dubious went through his whole life wishing he lived at another time, another circumstance. He could not enjoy the moment. He could not enjoy TODAY. He could not enjoy the “God who is”; the God of today, this very moment.
We spend much of our life looking back with nostalgia or endlessly planning for the future. We criticize people who live for today; they are viewed as short sighted and not respected. They are viewed as frivolous. Yes, let it be known they even experience moments of pure joy and pure exuberance.
Dubious had all the trinkets the world had to offer but I doubt he ever enjoyed any of them. He squandered most of his days wishing he was somewhere else, living in another time, the past or the future, whatever satisfied him for a fleeting moment. Isn’t that what trinkets are supposed to do? I know they do not satisfy. What satisfies and is important is the day to day joy of the simple things in our life. God’s sovereign hand brings them into our life. The God who IS, sustains, provides and holds them all in the palm of His hand. We are to enjoy the God who IS each and every moment.
Dubious lived his whole life and never enjoyed the moment/today. How sad. Let’s live today in the presence of the God who is. God be with us. Amen