Retrospect, Reflection and a Little Rambling...
For some reason I made a mental note back in the year that it happened that our house in the country burned on June 25. There was no fire department, no bucket brigade. Only the passing mailman, our Mama, the four of us terrified kids and a garden hose. It burned to the ground, and all the pictures, dolls, Tonka trucks, baby bottles, keepsakes, box of paperback books someone gave us (including The Picture of Dorian Gray), the freezer with the hog's head in it, the milkglass lamps, the little organ that we learned to play "In the Gloaming" by number or color, the shower on the back porch, the faux leopard bucket chair. That was in 1961. I think. Or maybe 1962. The date, though, was June 25.
The most popular singers we knew of were Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and Pat Boone. I had one of Chet Atkins's 45's. Not a huge collection. They were filed in their little paper jackets alphabetically, in a little red record holder/box that had a handle.
After Elvis, I guess Michael Jackson was perhaps the biggest, most famous, most well-known pop musician to die tragically, to die young, and to die so alone. June 25.
Farrah Fawcett's death barely made the news before Jackson's reached the TV, internet, Twitter, etc. She battled cancer heroically for several years. June 25.
Forty-eight June 25ths later... Time doesn't stop for anyone. Sometimes I will be waiting at a red light for it to change, or waiting at Wendy's drive-through, or waiting for the microwave bell to ding, or just sitting here writing for however long it takes, or doodling with Photoshop, and I'll think - you are 45 seconds older than you were when you stopped at this light; you are 90 seconds older than when you drove up to this window; you are 20 seconds older than you were when you put this coffee/bread/cheese in here to heat/melt. I don't feel older, look older or act older immediately, but each day's seconds add up to hours, nights, days, weeks, months, years. The seconds, minutes and hours are gaining lots of speed these days!
I've enjoyed the lilies this year and yesterday evening late, Paul and I went to Byron and JoAnn Ponder's to tag some more for this fall's planting. This week - the week of June 25 - they are slowly losing their blooms, having had the glory of color upon them for about two weeks. They showed their magnificence, and they slowly faded. They bloomed, waited for nightfall, aged, faded, and fell. They were beautiful in their time.
God created all things for His glory, in His time and timing, for our good. We grow, grow up, love, marry, bear the next generation, are strong, some more than others, then begin to decline, reflect upon our lives, fade. Our days are His to number and our lives are like mists. Would that Michael Jackson had not lived and died so lonely. Would that Farrah Fawcett had had a longer life. Would that our old farm house still stood there in the country meadow and all that followed could be changed. But would we? Could we? We might not stop and take stock of our lives, the paths we took, who we became and why, what is important, and Whose Hands hold it all in His control anyway.
June 25, 1961...June 25, 2009...
Then there was today....June 26. "Don't keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don't be anxious" (Luke 12:29) "Worry robs you of the joy that God wants you to have. Matthew 6:34 says 'Don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own...' The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' "
He has a way of getting my attention. Today He told me to believe Him when He said, "Don't worry. Don't be anxious. " I hope I let a little more of that go today.
June 26. Five months to the day from another clear message I got from Him.