© Wendy Clark, 2023
Tomorrow I will be 59. How is that possible? Wasn’t I just 29 a few days ago? How did the last 30 years go by so quickly and at the same time seem a lifetime ago?
The incredible passage of time. When I was young, older people told me about it. Some warned, some lamented, some kindly informed. My mom mused, saying that she felt like she was “still twenty inside.”
But I couldn’t understand. I couldn’t conceive of it. Difficult times seemed long. Time seemed slow. Looking back I realize that sense of time was a persuasive illusion. GOD, in His Word had told me otherwise:
“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more” (Psalm 105:15-16).
I believed Him, but I didn’t quite understand how that could be. And then I began to see.
The moments came, and the moments passed, and then they were so quickly gone. I learned that if I wanted to slow down the bullet train of time, zooming me through life, I should stop and savor. Others before me knew it. Walter Hagen wrote back in the 1960s, “Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way,” and people started saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” and as I started to sense the incredible passage of time, I did. I stopped.
I learned to enjoy the moment, to be present in it, to pause and make memories that I could carry with me in my mind into the future. To never miss the moment of now in favor of reaching for some moment in the future.
So I ask, “GOD, what do you want me to do today? I want to please You.” Sometimes the answer involves planning and preparation that will take me into tomorrow, next week, next year, but always the answer involves paying attention to the people around me and walking in wisdom here and now.
I’m convinced that it is by GOD’s design that I become increasingly aware of the incredible passage of time and the brevity of this life. Seasons come and seasons go. In some places they are more difficult to perceive (like when I was growing up in Southern California), but here in Idaho, it’s not easy to overlook the pile of snow that reaches almost up to my back window.
Experience has taught me that the snow will melt, spring will come, mild and green and blooming; summer will follow, bright and warm, with long, full days; autumn will usher in beautiful colors and milder temperatures, and the days will start to get shorter once again. And then–I will be looking out my back window at the snow, the pile lower or higher, and I will be another year older.
A long yawn or an intense sneeze, and I might miss it. That’s how it feels at this time of my life.
Wendy at 29, pregnant with her first child, uncomfortable, but ready–she could not sense it, this incredible passage of time. She didn’t know.
I don’t have a sense of how much more time I have ahead of me. Do I have 30 more years? More? Less? A lot less? One of my grandfathers died in his early 60s, another in his 80s, one grandmother in her 70s, but another at 52; my mom lived to be almost 80, and my dad died at 90.
How much time do I have? It is not a question that I concern myself with much. The amount of time seems far less important than the choices I make in using it.
I see the incredible passage of time written on my face and in the faces of my husband and grown children, and I’m sometimes puzzled by the changes that seem accelerated. At the same time, I recognize GOD’s gentle nudge. This world is not my home. Today is passing. I won’t waste it.
And perhaps ironically, I feel great peace in knowing that this is true.
ï»¿Happy birthdayð¥³, dear Wendy ð¥°ð! (You sure kept that a secret todayð) I just read your email and want you to know how touching it was to me and to tell you two thingsâ¦ 1. For future reference, 60 is the new 30ðð¥°!!! I know youâre not quite there yet and you certainly look like youâre in your 30s, or 20s, so you can still be 29 this year. Remember, 59 only comes around once and I know you will make the best of it by doing what Godâs Will and plans for you entail. My hope is that His Will for you is to continue your incredible teachings & witnessing to the lost, incarcerated women in the Blaine Co. jail & maybe even the worldâºï¸.
You have blessed me by sharing your utmost knowledge of the Word of God. By Godâs grace & mercy, I was given the exact teacher I needed at the time in my life. You are my Hero mentor. I hope that you donât mindð. I love you, I need you & I appreciate youðð¥°.
May God bless you and keep you in His loving arms forever, my friendðâ¤ï¸.
Have a wonderful Bdayð¥³ tomorrow, okay?
Lotsa luv, Carolea
Thank you, Carolea. You going to the jail with me each week is a big encouragement to me. I am glad to know that I teach in a way that helps you. I so enjoy interacting with the ladies, and I hope that God is using both of us to impact their lives in a powerful way as they move into the future.
Yes, God has brought us to the prison (in our case, jail) to do a part of the Great Commission. Most of the ladies seem thirsty & receptive when we are there. The ones that are just curious, you have at least planted a seed for them that may change their lives in the future. God bless you, Wendy!