A Lack of Time

Stockton College doesn’t have clocks in the classrooms. Maybe they decided to save money by assuming that the student body could always check the time on their laptop, cell phone, or even wristwatch. Maybe the administration omitted clocks in hopes that the students would get so lost in their learning that time would not matter. Maybe clocks use too much electricity, or maybe simply no one thought of it. Maybe no one realized that a student’s life would be changed because of a lack of time. I was that student.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 started like any other day. I dragged myself out of bed and got ready for the day. I went to work in the art gallery. I worked on homework. I laughed with friends.I hung out in the library, where I could read in peace. I got dinner and went to my evening writing class.

Every professor is different when it comes to cell phones. None want texting during class; some don’t care if you just check the time in the middle of a lecture or discussion. I was in an evening writing class. My mind had traveled away from writing and wanted to know how much longer was left in class. I reached down into the front section of my backpack and grabbed my cell phone. I put it in the section closest to me, on top of some books, but still out of sight. I flipped it open. Two missed calls. No one really calls me that much, but maybe it was a wrong number. I pressed a couple of buttons to see who the calls were from. One was from my sister, and one was from my mom. At first, I didn’t think much of it, until I saw that I had two voicemails. Getting a voicemail meant something was up, and getting two voicemails meant that something was really up. My interest in what time it was shifted to a curiosity as to why I had two voicemails. Class seemed to proceed even slower from that point on. I packed up as early as I could and made a beeline for a quiet area to make a phone call.

Pop-Pop had gone in for knee replacement surgery a couple of days earlier. The phone call wasn’t directly about his knee surgery. No one except for God knew that Pop-Pop had a rare intestinal problem that caused his intestines to just stop working.

My grandfather had just passed away.

* * *
Death has no hold on those whose faith is in Jesus. The experience of having a loved one die, even if they are a follower of Jesus, shakes a person to the core. Hearts are plagued with the inevitable questions of, “Why now? Why did this happen? God, why would You take them away from me?” God has set eternity in the hearts of men, but the shadows of death bring even the most faithful of believers back to this present time. Death has no power over Jesus’ followers, but that doesn’t mean that death is fully understood. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.”

Two years ago, if I had read those verses, I would not have known how to interpret them in a practical sense. How could it be better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a feast? No one likes being sad; everyone loves going to a feast, especially if the feast is free.
The days after Pop-Pop died were a mix of a blur and time slowing down. The days turned into weeks. I didn’t know if or how my heart would ever be completely healed. A month to the day of Pop-Pop dying, God healed my heart in a perfect and complete way as I served on a spring break mission trip.

The weeks turned to months, and the months to years. I still miss Pop-Pop, and wish that he could have been alive to continue to see me grow. He heard about my first day of school; I wish he could have been here to celebrate my last day of school. I wish he could see who I have become during these past two years.

My heart is still healed, thanks to God. It has been two years, and I am just now realizing the true meaning of the verses in Ecclesiastes 7:2-4. Everyone is destined for death. Our lives can affect others still on earth after we are called home to Heaven, but in order for that legacy to exist, we have to make the most of our time today. How can anyone in the future see the light of God in our lives unless we shine it today? How will future generations know that “So-and-so served God with their whole heart” unless we do so now, with every moment that we are given?

Even though I can’t see Pop-Pop or give him a hug anymore, he is still part of my life. He is on my business card and in our family photos. His love shaped our family. I won’t see him at church anymore, but I can see him in the love of the Church. I wrote this for his funeral, and it still rings true: When someone is full of God’s love, that love naturally comes out in their everyday actions. Pop-Pop didn’t just love God—he loved his family in such a way that he left a legacy of love.

My heart now knows how important it is to always tell those close to you that you love them. My heart now knows to enjoy every moment together, even if it seems silly or unimportant. The moment won’t seem silly or unimportant when you can no longer spend moments with that person. No one on earth is guaranteed tomorrow, yet we live as if we will never die. Whether you know someone for twenty minutes or twenty years, do all that you possibly can to make sure they are loved as Jesus would love them. I don’t want to get so caught up with my life that I miss moments that God has given me for a specific purpose. I don’t want to get too busy with being busy that I have a lack of time to love others with my whole heart, as Jesus would. I don’t want a lack of time to keep me from being fully alive.

Carried you edit

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Categories: growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “A Lack of Time

  1. leeleegirl4

    Oh, so that’s why you liked my post today. (P.S. How sad is it that I forget the date when I’m not in the classroom lol?)

  2. Susan,
    This was an especially meaningful post to me today. 16 years ago this month (11 Feb), my sister Pat went home to be with the Lord. 4 years ago this month (16 Feb) my wife went home to be with the Lord. 18 days ago (1 Feb) my sister Pat went home to be with the Lord. Thankfully, I can say that they all went home to be with the Lord and your scriptures are so appropriate. In all things I must trust God–even though I don’t believe it is His perfect will that anyone “go before their time”, each of these deaths fall into that category. Now the passing of my wife carried with it many other emotions that any husband would carry after being married for 30 years to his best friend and the love of his life (the rest of the story at my website). My older sister led me to the Lord and my younger sister who just passed away has been such an inspiration to me in these years since losing my wife. In all things I praise God and know how it important it is, as you said, to cherish each moment and make the most of those moments with our loved ones.

    Blessings to you and all your readers!

    Jim

  3. Pingback: Photo Challenge Day 30 « Searching For Answers

  4. Pingback: Photo Challenge Day 30 | Leelee Writes

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