This is a wonderful time of the year. Thanksgiving is recent history. The big holiday of Christmas is so special. It is ironic that God’s heavenly family was pulled apart in a sense. The Father and the Holy Spirit were with the Son Jesus who then came to earth to Bethlehem as a baby in a manger. He came to earth to start preparing for the purchase of us on the cross.
A couple weeks ago Norma and I took a drive up north to look at the leaves. We always enjoy the beautiful fall colors. Last week we took a short ride east and south to enjoy the leaves. And now when we look out the window we see mostly trees with bare branches. The green has almost all disappeared. “Times have changed” as the old saying goes.
Six months ago the trees and lawns were spring green, now they are turning brown. We have many memories of changing seasons. We have many memories of different kinds of changing season in life. Thirty years ago we enjoyed some things we probably have forgotten by now.
Friday, September 18 was the date for our annual North St. Paul Community Prayer Breakfast held at K & J Catering which always serves a beautiful buffet.. Each year we listen to beautiful music and hear a dynamic speaker. The special music by Luke Olson and Nate Greenwalt was just outstanding. A comment that we hear year after year is “This was the best prayer breakfast ever.” Naturally that which is fresh in our mind gives us a clearer picture of the speaker. Whether an experience is good or bad, the impression of the most recent tends to speak the loudest to us.
Let’s see, what am I going to do today? Whether we think about it consciously or not, we probably do have the question. The little child may say, “Mommy, I’m hungry.” The older person may just do what he or she wants to do without saying anything. At ages 78 and 84, my dear wife and I do things by habit or by planning. Whatever and however we do it there is value in thinking about and having a plan. And of course this is always subject to change.
It can be fun to think back over life. If we remember back, as best we can, our schedules can amaze us. Older folk often do a little reminiscing over a cup of coffee or whatever. The older we are the more likely we grew up on a farm or in a small town. The changes vary but certain pathways are similar. Whatever the pathway, certain elements were always present. The road went from childhood to adolescence to adulthood to middle age to senior citizen.
The 2014-2015 school year is history. This means that some parents will need childcare for their young school children. Let’s suppose that one set of parents has two children. One just finished kindergarten and the other second grade. They can no longer take the bus or be dropped off at school for the day. Both finances and time may be a factor with this family. Somebody needs to be with them. Ten years down the road the whole picture will change. Larger families have more hurdles. We have known a couple of families who have taken in abandoned street children. If you go down to the Union Gospel Mission or some of the other safe houses, you can get a real feel for their situations.
Some older people read a lot. Others like to sit around and visit with other old folk. We see some who walk an hour or two each morning in the Maplewood Mall or outside. With old age generally comes more flexibility. Some of these people in their 60s, 70s and even 80s can give us really good ideas.
Recently, Norma and I were at a memorial service for a very dear friend who was 90 years old. He was a retired science teacher from Century College. He was listed as being active in his church, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Union Gospel Mission, St. John’s Hospital and The Gideons International. The Union Gospel Mission Ministry Center was the perfect place to remember Gerald.
We celebrate Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. They have all come and gone. Other holidays are special also, but in a different way. These three are all God-centered. Others may involve our nation, state, county, city or even our neighborhood. Then of course, we have family or individual celebrations. I remember well my 80th birthday. We had a family picnic in the park. Celebrations are enjoyable and memorable. They come and go.
Life is full of decisions. Some are big, others are not so big. My wife often asks what we should have for lunch or dinner. Actually, she asks what I would like to eat. We all make decisions on what to wear. These are based on the situation. You don’t see people come to church Sunday mornings in their swimming suits or going for a run in their best dress suits.