I’m a time traveler. We all are, if you think about it. Or could be. Our memory allows us to travel back to any point in our life, and look forward into the future to our life today. From that informed frame of reference, ostensibly, we can make useful observations about how we’re doing in the grand scheme of things. One of the many downsides of this very noisy and invasive world in which we all now live, is the time and solitude to indulge in such a revealing perspective.
I expect that such things, and even simple thinking for that matter, were immeasurably easier a few generations back. I remember a specific conversation with my parents, probably thirty years ago. They were talking about how many more decisions they had to make every day. Decisions that their parents never had to think about. Choices.
Thirty years back? They had no idea. The competition for our attention is relentless today.
I have a friend, a pastor, who cites Paul’s attitude about introspection to dismiss the value of such things as my time travel exercise. Personally, I think Paul, because he was admittedly vulnerable to coveting, just kept his eyes riveted on the Lord, and probably treated the slightest thought about himself and his life, as an indulgence of the flesh. Paul was amazing, and I am eternally thankful to him for his courage and faithfulness, but he wasn’t a guy who was a lot of fun to be around.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, the beginning of a new year, birthdays and anniversaries are times I try to take a little stroll back in time, and look at what remarkable blessings God has placed along this path that my life has followed. Twenty years ago today, I thought I had accomplished all of my life’s ambitions. I had had absolutely no idea that God was about to turn my whole life on end, and make it something I could never have imagined. Never in a million years.
Standing twenty years back in time and looking forward to today, I am so thankful for what the Lord set before me. The people whom I have had the privilege to know and love, and work alongside in this ministry. The people who have come to the theater to see a production, and then became dear, important beyond words, to us. All those faces. All those smiles, hugs, and words of sweet encouragement bring tears to my eyes as I write this.
I love the work. I love getting to write and sing, endeavoring to convey what I know is the most essential message in the world. We all love the work we do. But what we talk about…what Robin and I talk about all the time, what Glenn and I, anytime we get on the phone together, spend two hours telling each other about…is how amazed by, and thankful for the people God draws to Ragtown. He shows Himself to us through them.
I have deep blessing in my life. Love and fulfillment beyond reckoning. None of which I deserve, because those treks back in time remind me of that too. But for reasons only God knows, He has chosen to enrich my life with blessings. All I can be, is thankful. All I can offer in return is telling anyone who will listen, anyone we can reach, about this miraculous thing His Son was willing to do for us.
Thanksgiving. It never ends.