My days have been consumed with an archaeological expedition. One as close as my office closet, but as far away as distant years unearthed by layer after layer of pictures, programs and school papers. I’ve sorted a myriad of mementos from the unforgettably priceless to the “What in the world is that?”. My goal: Condense from the mountain of stuff to what captures our history in the most meaningful way.
As the papers shuffle, I drift through time like a canoe loosed from its mooring. Unearthing declarations of my daughter’s second grade love and her various dreams for when she grows up - a spy, a doctor, an adventurer. I wouldn’t advise the doctor. I found a picture she drew telling a patient “I’m sorry, I can’t help you”, who, lying stricken declares, “I’m dead”.
The most special are the hints of what God has placed inside her. From a young age, He has been shaping her talents and allowing her to explore them in her own way. I am watching as her focus is narrowing from a broad expansive valley between mountain ridges to the narrow pass that will carry her through the craggy peaks. I’m watching and praying.
I sorted through years of my bible study notes wishing I had done more. If only I had studied them more in depth and committed them to an organized history of my journey. I relived times plagued by sadness as I recovered from the loss of the life I thought was my dream. There were times of intense struggle to surrender myself to the place God chose for me. Some notes dripped with regret while others were inexpressibly joyful. Across the pages and years I saw God speaking love, comfort, joy and direction. Each note a reminder of how faithful God always was, is and will be. I see Him written into it all and I’m filled with thankful joy.
I sort through the journey, but I can’t keep it all and much I don’t want to. It felt so freeing and empowering to set ablaze the huge pile of scraps and watch it turn to ash. It is a fitting project as the year comes to a close, to remember where I have been, I mean. Somehow, it clarifies today. I am the sum of all my experiences. Even though it all has shaped my “here and now”, my life lived must make room for my life yet to be.
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. Phil 3:14 The Message
And so I sort.