Beautiful in Its Time
Hi, I’m RC, and I’m a nostalgia addict. I’ve been attending meetings for at least twenty years. Why, I remember back in the day, at those first meetings…
I don’t remember everything I read. I don’t remember the great names and dates of history. I do, however, remember the layout of the basement of a family’s house we visited once, when I was nine. I remember the taste of the overdone cake my girlfriend made for me for the Sadie Hawkins dance in 1980, and the FM radio headphones she won as a prize for the cake. I don’t remember who was Speaker of the House between Tip O’Neil and Newt Gingrich. But I remember where I sat in the deli the night my niece was born.
I not only remember these tiny slices of history, but I replay them often. In those, too many, hours when I cannot sleep I go back to my past, remembering and giving thanks for the smell of slowly decomposing leaves in November, the dry tickle of the nutmeg atop the eggnog I drank while watching Rudolph, the echo of All of My Love playing in the school gym at the junior high dance. I remember and give thanks for the bent glasses Darby wore in her tweens, for Shannon patting the sunbeam on the living room floor, Reilly being chased by the happily briefly-owned Goldie the dog. The trouble is that scratching my nostalgia itch too often digs too deep, and the bleeding sets in. I find myself homesick for a time that no map can direct me back to. I ache to be 14, to be 20, to be 30 again. Or I ache to be 46 again, with my beloved.
It ought not surprise me that God has blessed me with so many moments of beauty. Not that I deserve them. No, but because of His grace. Like so many unique snowflakes He slowly drops tiny sculptures of exquisite and stinging beauty into our lives each day. After all, has He not made all things beautiful?
What I am trying to learn, however, is that God not only creates beauty by harmonizing complexity, but that He moves from beauty to beauty by harmonizing the complexity of the complexities He has harmonized. That is, the beauty is not just in the temporal brush points, but in the lifetime tapestry. That is, He has made everything beautiful, in its time.
He gave me those moments then, and today He gives me new moments. When I am old, He will give me still more. He will not run out, and the new blessings are never less than the old. Each moment was not only fitting, but fitting for each moment. It’s not true that those were the days. Those were those days, and these these, and every one beautiful in its time.
I’m allowed to remember. Flipping through photo albums is perfectly fitting, so long as we know that just outside is the Rocky Mountains, the Milky Way, Erin Claire. May we never, in giving thanks for blessings past, forget blessings present. This, this is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.