The traditional boundaries of my childhood are no more. Tradition had the American Thanksgiving holiday marking the beginning of the holiday season that ran through New Year. Everyone honored these implied limits. Stores began playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. Decorations, especially the ones outside on the light poles and people's homes, did not appear until then. Even TV and radio stations honored the fence.
Not today! Malls decorations are in full dress while Christmas music numbs even the most enthused shopper. Decorations are already appearing on city streets. At least we do not have the Christmas TV programs in England, yet!
In the middle of the Christmas focus on gifts and celebration, I am reflecting on this year's events and developments. I cannot remember what I expected and the results in many ways far exceed anything I can remember imagining. Friends are pursuing God with more urgency. Efforts extended out over many months and even years are showing major results. Everyone is just a little bit older.
The reality of my age keeps me focused on the gaps in my life. “I have looked forward to seeing you” (Romans 15.23) for a long time. It has been too long since we sat down, shared a meal, talked about local activities, and mused over the future. The time away has not lessened the value I put on our friendship, rather the opposite is true. I value your thoughts, observations, and approach to challenges more than ever! I am scheming to get a visit in my schedule; soon I hope.
In the interim, I am approaching the gap that comes from not being with you in the same way I deal with other gaps. I daily struggle with God, trusting that He will make provisions to fill the void in my life while supporting you in your journey. I see Him pouring out much grace in the lives of people I meet; I know in faith that He is doing the same in yours.
Until I see you, soon I hope, keep God in your sights!