Are we there yet? How much longer?
More than likely, you have both heard and uttered those words on a long road trip. When I was a kid and asked that question, Dad would always say, “Over the next hill and around the next corner.”
When we would top the next hill or round the next corner, I’d notice that there was no end in sight. When I questioned Dad, he would say, “This is not the next hill. This is THIS hill.” Cheap! And did I use that on my kids? Oh, yeah!
In August 1984, a 21-year-old newlywed and recent college graduate walked into her first-grade classroom at Walnut Creek Elementary School in Azle to start her first year of teaching. Two days ago, for the last time, she walked out of the counselor’s office she has occupied at Walnut Creek Elementary for the past 12 years – and walked into retirement. So, now I can call her Mrs. Officially Retired Sweetie.
During a career in education spanning 29 years, she has taught grades 1, 3 and 4. She’s been a gifted and talented teacher, a homebound teacher, and a counselor. Thousands of kids, families and coworkers have been touched and blessed. Yes, I am her biggest fan. Of course, if you have read my column more than once or twice, you already knew that.
So now that she is officially retired, she is going to kick back and do nothing. You know … sleep late every day and watch TV all day long … a perpetual state of vacation. NOT!
If I have learned anything about my Mrs. in 29 years of marriage, it is that she is hard-wired by God for serving and blessing others. She will find volunteer opportunities in the community. She’ll get plugged into some new ministries. She’ll be more involved in my ministry. She will keep looking forward. Good days are ahead!
Ecclesiastes 7:10 says, “Don’t always be asking, ‘Where are the good old days?’ Wise folks don’t ask questions like that.”
When we see young families with small children, we remember how much fun it was to have little ones. But, we don’t want to go back to those days. Our youngest is getting married next weekend. There is so much of life ahead. We don’t want to miss what’s ahead by always looking back over our shoulders.
But, we also want to realize that the NEXT hill and corner will soon become THIS hill and corner. We also don’t want to be looking so far ahead to the destination that we can’t enjoy the trip. We don’t want to skip today’s treasure looking for tomorrow’s prize.
Colossians 4:5-6 says, “… make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
Our lives on this hill and corner matter to God. Enjoy the trip. We’re not there yet.
Dr. Gerry Lewis is director of missions for the Harvest Baptist Association, which is headquartered in Decatur. He writes a blog at www.lifematterstoday.blogspot.com.