Today’s Word from guest writer Laura Canby…
Happy almost New Year!
Just a few days days ago at church, Robin Edgeman and I were reflecting how fast the years are passing.
I remember my late father telling me that the older one gets, the more time speeds up. I now know that to be true.
As a child it seemed to take an eternity for summer vacation to begin, or for Christmas to get here.
As an adult, it seems that there is never time to adequately prepare for Christmas and — whoosh! — it’s over.
This week between Christmas and New Year’s is a perfect time for reflecting on the past and setting priorities for the future.
I was looking through some very old files from my hard drives this week when I came across a Word document that I had written in August 2002 — 20 years ago! It was not very long, but was worth the reflection:
Today was a beautiful day. Beautiful, not just because it was sunny and warm, but beautiful because it was shared with family and friends and neighbors and newcomers.
Half-awake and after accidentally backing into my husband’s truck, I was not in the best of moods when I arrived at Trinity to help with chair set-up. At 7 a.m. the place was already abuzz with activity. There were dozens of volunteers, young and old and in-between, willing to lend a hand.
There were hands that carried and placed chairs into orderly rows… hands that put out coffee and donuts for the volunteers… hands that disassembled and re-assembled the sound system… hands that prepared food to feed a multitude of – okay, perhaps not 5,000 – but 500 is still plenty of people.
There were gnarled hands that brought flowers and smooth hands that later painted flowers on children’s faces.There were open hands that welcomed… hands that offered Bread and Wine… hands that played instruments and held songbooks… hands that blessed… and everywhere, hands that served.This was my third year of attending Trinity’s outdoor worship celebration. Each year I come to know a few more people. Each year it becomes a little more meaningful… a little more like family… a little more beautiful. I already look forward to next year.
We were setting up for worship in the parking lot. (Remember those?!) I’ve been attending TLC long enough to even remember a few Worship in the Park services. I may have forgotten some of the details, but what I remember is the teamwork and service of so many.
I still see many hands in service at Trinity today.
I close with two sayings about service and time I have always held dear:
“I shall pass this way but once;
any good that I can do or any kindness I can show
to any human being; let me do it now.
Let me not defer nor neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again.”
–Etienne de Grellet, Quaker Missionary
And this one from Henry van Dyke:
“Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.”
We are only on this earth but a short while,
so let us do good while we can.
Happy New Year!