It has been almost a month since my youngest child graduated from high school and I must admit things certainly have changed on the York home front. Although morning routines are generally the same with everyone rising with the sun and going about our merry little ways, it is the evening and weekend activities that have taken on a whole new look and ushered us down a new path of our family journey.
Honestly, we kinda like it more than I expected. That is not to say we don’t miss some aspects of the former, mainly baseball/softball and the incredible relationships we were able to establish with parents, grandparents, coaches, and teammates.
There are those who do not understand the pure anxious joy I experienced watching my children and their teammates play these two sports. It is almost indescribable and I cherish ever so deeply the beautiful memories they made along the way, as I had the privilege to have a front row seat to it all.
If they had decided to pursue playing time after high school I would have been more than happy to keep the back of my jeep full of lawn chairs & sunflower seed hulls and we would have enthusiastically followed them down the road to the next field of dreams.
I have often said that I have enjoyed each age and phase my children have gone through, some more than others; but I always tried to face it all with an understanding knowledge it would not last forever.
Oh, how true that statement is….nothing here on earth last forever outside of God’s Word and our souls. Not the highest of highs or the lowest of lows; nothing. Lately, it seems God is reminding me of this truth almost daily in some way or another.
Just a couple of days ago, Ryan posted a picture I had taken of him standing on the chalk line at the 2017 Spring State Baseball Tournament and for the caption he wrote, “If you had a chance to go back, would you change anything? Would you do things differently than you did before? Or would you appreciate everything that you went through that made you who you are today?”
Maybe it is because he is mine that this moved me, but I had one of those proud mom moments of feeling “he gets it!” Not too long ago, my daughter sent me a text out of the blue saying “Thank you for telling me you appreciate things that I do!” and again, a proud mom moment to bottle up. One served as a reminder not to live in the past and the other displayed gratitude of living in the here and now. Two extremely important lessons that usually takes some of us a life time to achieve.
Taking strolls down memory lane can be pleasant and at times these walks are much needed….just as long as we don’t get detracted by the would of, could of , should of moments.
These are cleverly disguised traps that satan lays for us along our path in order to take our eyes off of the well lit walkway and place them on a dark gated area we should not enter. The “what might have been” path is a dead end road that will stop you in your tracks and cause you to get bogged down in a muddy rut.
The longer you stay, the more you spin your wheels and the deeper the ruts become. Before you know it, you are slinging your muddy past all over the place and getting no where fast. It is not until we are stuck that we realize we should have just kept right on walking in the sunshine of the here and now.
All of our roads are different with hills to climb, curves to slow down for, dips & valleys to travel through and mountain top glimpses. Some days we have all these experiences wrapped up in one twenty-four hour time frame. As good as it may sound, none of us get to go through life on a perfectly straight/paved highway, and just think about what all we would miss if this was an option.
One thing I have learned by being a parent is it is on those back roads off the beaten path where I have grown and learned the most.
The beauty of it all is God is still the same loving Father as we walk along life’s journey whether we are taking a leisurely stroll or if we are up to our necks in the miry clay.
Nothing we face or go through is a surprise to Him and He stands ready, willing, and completely able to reach out His Steady Hand to lift us up and set our feet back on solid ground.
I have been enjoying a devotional study by Beth Moore called “Portraits of Devotion”, and my current person of focus is King Saul. This was a man the Israelite people demanded to have as their earthly king in order to be like their neighboring kingdoms. King Saul’s journey is full of self-consumed winding roads that ultimately led to his destruction.
At one point after a blatant act of disobedience and getting caught in a lie (1 Samuel 15:10-31), King Saul begs Samuel to “….come back with me so that I may worship the Lord.” Saul’s words sounded good as if to say, “let me go back and make up for the wrong that I did.” But at that point there was no more going back, the damage had already been done.
I encourage you to read all about Samuel, King Saul, Jonathan, and King David in 1 Samuel as each of their lives intertwined down the long trail of the people of Israel.
Their lives are raw, relatable, real and closely resemble the very same experiences we live through today.
Going back was not going to change the outcome of Saul’s life and neither will it for us. The past is just that, the past.
We all have the good, the bad and the ugly in our yesterdays, but praise God He lives in our todays and carries us to our tomorrows.
Personally, I am at the point in my life that I don’t want to go back. I am perfectly content to keep moving forward and striving towards that goal God has for me to become more and more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
Some days are far better than others. Their are times I stop and smell the roses or gaze at the amazing Oklahoma wildflowers growing on the side of the road; while other days quickly pass me by and I wonder if I served any purpose at all.
But all in all, each day is a gift which sadly is something we tend to forget.
Our days are filled with God-appointed opportunities and divine interactions where we get to be apart of His glorious plan. Our past has helped mold us into who we are, today is a beautiful opportunity to be better, and tomorrow is the glorious hope to do more.
Go out and meet someone at their greatest need today!