My family is gathered around me….cousins, aunts, uncles… I call them “my people.” I have driven almost 2000 miles to spend this holiday with them, to share in a tradition of spending this day as a family. This tradition goes back many years, and I am so happy that my own little family was able to make the trip. There is much laughter and reminiscing, as we all share stories from the “old days.” I look at my uncles and I see that time has aged them. In my mind, they are still the boisterous, loving uncles of my youth. I look at my cousins. They are all grown, with families and lives outside our little hometown. I am the oldest living cousin, a title I carry proudly. I look at their children, and I see us when we were kids, caught up in the fun of the moment, yet not appreciating that it would pass so soon. I am so grateful that my children get to experience this. I am so glad that God has blessed us with the opportunity to travel across the country and share in these memory-making moments.
In my mind, I am still that young kid. Where did the time go? How did I get here? So many years and so many memories, passed down through the generations. Isn’t that just how life is? One moment you are a young child savoring in the love of your family, the next, you are staring at the generations that have come after you, wondering where the time went. God’s word tells us just how fleeting this life is. “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14).
The passing of time, the aging and maturing, lead us to awesome opportunities. What have we learned through the process of life? What values have we taken ownership of that we can pass down to those who come after us? What lessons has God taught us that we can share? What trials have taken us through a valley, what mountain tops have we reached?
God uses our lives for his purpose, if we let Him. He takes our vapor and makes it meaningful, to us and to others. By following Him, by living lives that please and glorify Him, we get this marvelous opportunity to impact our people, long after we have left this earth for our heavenly home. What will you leave behind for your people? What does your life speak to them? Does the love of Jesus shine through you? “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). Does compassion, patience, and forgiveness resonate when your name is spoken? “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 6:34). Have you instilled the importance of the Savior into those you love? “And there is salvation in no one else, for there us no name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
If you wake up and find yourself suddenly cast into your “”golden years” do not waste your days wondering where the time went. Embrace this season of your life, anticipate what the Lord has for you, and take every opportunity to leave a legacy of love and light for your people. Jesus is calling. He is calling us, through every age and stage, to share his love, spread his word, and cast his light onto those around us. Are you up for the challenge? Your people are waiting.