It is September already. I find that hard to believe. This year seems to be flying by in all its strangeness.  It seems like just yesterday that we were going along fine and then covid happened. Then at other times it seems like normal was a long time ago. I have always been fascinated by time. We are not great at relating to time. Things can feel longer or shorter than they really are. I have been sitting in my office for what feels like hours trying to think of something to write about this month. It has been twenty minutes.

As I glance around the room looking for inspiration, I am always struck by family pictures. There is one of my wife, Jennifer, and me at our wedding rehearsal dinner. I would really like to talk to that guy. He is afraid and excited all at the same time. Jennifer looks so happy in this photo. Every time I see the smile in this photo, I hope I can make her smile like that every day. When I look at this photo, I get sentimental. I think about all we have experienced together. It is a good feeling. Then I glance just a little bit to my left and there is a picture of our first child together, our beloved Boston Terrier, Riley. I remember all the stress he put us through training him. I remember how he slept in our bed because we could not handle his whining. I remember his great love for Jennifer and how he would wait for her to come home. I also remember losing him to old age and saying good bye for the last time. Just beside the dog picture is a picture of my human children, Abby and Wesley. The picture I have of them in my office is when they were in preschool/daycare together. Wesley is a baby and propped up against his big sister who is both posing nicely and keeping him from falling. This one makes me so nostalgic. They are so grown up now. A part of me will always remember them as they were in that photo and yet another part of me is so excited to see them growing.

Time is a strange thing. I can remember parts of my journey like they were yesterday and yet they seem so long ago. There is much in my life I look upon with gratitude and thanksgiving. There is also much I look upon with regret. This year has caused me to slow down and reassess things like I never have before. I am spending more quality time with my family and having to really think about my work and how to be effective in this time of social distancing. Perhaps, for me the hardest part has been the alone time. Before covid there was always something else that needed doing. I did not have much time for reflection, but now I do. Here is what I have learned and what I hope is helpful for you:

There is time right now. Your age does not matter. If you are reading this article, then there is time and that time is now. Now is the time to repent. Now is the time to ask forgiveness. Now is the time to forgive. Now is the time to love. Now is the time to do that thing that God has been calling you to do. Now is that time to read the Scriptures. Now is that time to really pray. Now is that time to accept that the one who knows you best also loves you most. Now is that time to really say “yes” to God. Now is the time to do what we have left undone. Now is the time.

Our God broke into time itself in the form of our Lord Jesus Christ interrupting what looked like the plan. The real plan is this, in God there is redemption, healing, hope, transformation, salvation, and eternal life. Let us not waste this moment, but instead embrace the grace of God available for all right now. 

Off to do some things left undone and grateful for the chance,

 Pastor Jimmy Hendricks, pastorjimmy@nolensvilleumc.org