Living By God's Clock
January 1, 1970This is my birthday month. Birthdays, especially once I crossed that half-century line, used to get me thinking about the time I had left. But in recent years, I’ve quit doing that. I’ve come to realize that our times—long or short—are by God’s clock, not ours.
I was 53 years old when I lost a job I loved and, for a while I thought my life was over. After all I couldn’t find a job in education because my old classroom skills were outdated in this new age of technology. And, besides, who would hire a 53-year-old woman anyway? Now I realize 53 was quite young!
Not only did I go on to find the most fulfilling career of my life—freelance writing—but I had a book published at age 66! Who could imagine something like that would happen?! And what an experience it has been. The feeling of holding that galley proof in my hands . . . and then the book itself—breathtaking!
And the book has led to speaking engagements, another whole new world I’ve entered late in life along with two younger friends, Kim and Janine. Together we lead women’s retreats and events as Friends of the Heart, which we are. Some time ago Kim asked, “Well, Shirley, how much time do you think you have left?” Her question surprised me, because suddenly I realized I had stopped counting the years I have left. Instead, I just plan to keep on doing what I can for the Lord as long as he gives me breath.
I regret that I it took me so long to develop this attitude. God sees my life in its totality, not year by year. He knows what he has planned for me at each stage. My job is, as my mother often quoted from the Westminster Catechism, to glorify God and enjoy him forever. So I’m enjoying each day whatever it brings. Some days it brings work on a new book project. Some days I’m involved in the care giving of an older sister. Some days are carefree. All are equally delightful now that I’m simply looking up instead of counting down.
The message I drew from Gloria Gaither’s life in my book Sisterhood of Faith, is to savor the moment. May that joy be yours today and every day.