Friday, October 7, 2011

On Growing Old

All our days pass away in your anger,
Our life is over like a sigh.
Our span is seventy years
or eighty for those who are strong.

And most of these are emptiness and pain.
They pass swiftly and we are gone.
Who understands the power of your anger
and fears the strength of your fury?

Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
Show pity to your servants.

In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction
for the years when we knew misfortune.

--- Psalm 90

Lord, I am not worthy. Those words came easy today.

I am not worthy of the years you have given me, Lord. Each day I read about the lives of your saints; so many of them died so young. They found holiness, and you, so quickly in their youth, while I struggle day after day wondering if I shall ever find you, even wondering if you wish to be found --- by me, and wondering about the day when we finally inevitably meet: will you say: “I do not know you”?

Lord, I am not worthy of the many blessings you have given me in my life. So many talents for my use, talents meant for your use, entrusted to me. But am I worthy of your trust? “Of those to whom much has been given, much will be asked.” Am I returning enough? What are you asking?

I am not worthy of your love, Lord. How often have I acted like I didn’t know you? How often have I done the exact thing I knew would make you sad? How often have I proved a disappointment to you?

Today I made a general confession, the first time I have ever done such a thing. I recalled sins of my past which you knew about and forgave, but I could not forget. The older you get, the more failures there are to remember. I confessed my biggest failures, my biggest disappointments to you --- and to me. And at least I took heart in that one thought: that there is one thing on which you and I do agree: so often, I failed. And yet despite the pain and disappointment I caused you and reminded you of yet again today, still you said: “Your sins are forgiven.” And I know you meant it, and I felt lighter somehow.

With the passing of years, Lord, it is so easy to remember my failings, perhaps with fear because the day comes ever closer when I shall have to remember them yet again, together with you, face-to-face. Perhaps today was just practice for that day. Please, Lord, don’t forget then how you said they were forgiven today. How I long to enter your kingdom, as so many of your saints did, so quickly. And yet I am still here. Help me, Lord, use these remaining days well, however many they may be. Let the memories, when we finally meet, include many acts and days of joy, perhaps yet to come, when you and I shared your love with all your children. Let our memories then be of happiness that the talents you have blessed me with were returned tenfold and more. Let the load of good things I bring you that day be like Santa’s bag of toys, huge, and full of things which were just what you would have wished for of me, and more.

Lord, help me to fill it for you, that these days might not be just a blessing for me, but for you also.

Perhaps someday soon, Lord, may I take a day and declare it not a day like today of confession and regret of my many sins, but one of profession and joy at my many blessings --- blessings which together we shared.

May the best be yet to come, OUR best. Jesus, I trust in You, to be there with me.

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