Another Word…by Gus Keiser

October 10, 2016

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

                                                                                    Psalm 118:24

 At the end of this week I’m going to make my annual fall cider run. Each year I make the three-hour plus trek back to a small fruit market west of Gettysburg to load up on the best cider I’ve ever tasted.  Ellie and I first came across this place when we lived in Gettysburg back in the 1970’s and I’ve been making the trip back that way every year since.  Just several years ago the trip took on an even more significant meaning when I received an email from my best friend from high school whom I hadn’t seen in more than thirty-five years.  Ever since that time we have gotten together for lunch somewhere in the area to share what’s been going on in our lives and to just enjoy each other’s company.  This week, hopefully, two more of our good friends will be joining us for this time together.

It seems like only yesterday when the two of us began looking ahead to this time together this year. We started seriously talking about it when I had to go back for a funeral for one of my aunts in July and we were able to meet over dinner.  Then, October seemed still like a long time away, but here it is.  How quickly this year has passed.  Time has this way of sneaking by us, doesn’t it, and not just the current year, but our life in general?  For instance, this past August I turned seventy.  How did that happen?!  Sometimes it becomes hard for us to gain an accurate perspective on time, either because of our busyness or because we simply refuse to acknowledge its passing or our aging.

But it doesn’t matter whether we’re young or old, whether time seems to fly by or drag on, we need to realize that life is fleeting.  Let’s face it, our desire is to live a long healthy life, but not all of us are granted that experience.  I know that’s my desire, but about a year and a half ago I received this wake-up call via a serious and life-threatening health issue that reminded me just how fleeting and uncertain life can be.  As Christians, all we can be assured of is that… “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” All we have for sure is this day and this moment.  There are no guarantees for a long life.  So, we owe it to ourselves and to the one who has created us to live every day to its fullest!… to God’s glory.  Each day of our lives is a gift that we need to treasure.

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wasted more than your fair share of days planning for or dreaming about the future. Some days, we’re so busy trying to get to our future that we fail to show up for today.  Don’t misunderstand me here, there’s nothing wrong with planning and dreaming.  After all, where would we be without planners and dreamers?  But we need also to be careful that we don’t abuse this gift of life in the process of forfeiting  today’s experiences as we frantically hurtle ourselves toward tomorrow.  God wants and needs our presence with him at this time and in this place.  God has created this day so that we can know, experience, and love him right here, right now, and so that we can use our lives to serve others.  So, however you may choose to go about it, you need to know, to experience and to love as you make the most of this day that God has made for you.

I once heard someone make the comment, “Ninety percent of life is just showing up.” You know, the funny thing about that statement is that every time I’m with my friend, I can pretty much depend upon those words being part of what he shares with me…those, and his other go-to observation about life…”We have fun”.  I’m not sure just how accurate that ninety percent figure is, but what I do know is that saying has always rung true to me.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, time is fleeting.  So today, why not show up for life…for “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

 God, you grant us one day at a time. Help us to use this day to your glory and to offer our praise and thanksgiving to you.  Amen.

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