Not long ago I heard an expression that really made me stop and think. Here it is: “The days are long. The years are short.”
When I first heard these words, I was puzzled by their meaning. “The days are long. The years are short.” How could days be long and years short? But now not only do I think I know what the expression means, but I am living it! Our “baby” is away in school at academy. Our daughter is working independently in a distant state and city. The years when they were little and I tucked them into their beds at night are now long ago and far away.
Where did those days go?
• Days of toting diaper and Sabbath bags to church
• Days of delivering forgotten lunch bags and backpacks to school
• Days of campouts in our family tent
• Days of family worships with felt boards and songs accompanied by hand motions
Long days. Short years.
Yes, there were some long days when they were young. Days that involved hospital stays and learning life’s tougher lessons that every child and every parent has to learn and relearn.
And now that all of our children are nearly grown, there are still some “long” days. They are long simply because of the challenges of living in an imperfect world—challenges such as:
• The realization that we’re living in aging bodies
• The common pressures of pressing bills and never-ending obligations
• The need to brace ourselves for each passing year, knowing that together with the good, it will bring its own set of unique challenges
How about you? Are you occasionally experiencing a “long day” that seems like it will never end? How about moments when you realize how very quickly the “good years” have gone by and everything is different now?
Yes, the years are short. And yes, there are days that can be very long. But maybe it is well to remember that whether we are in the midst of young motherhood, or midlife, or postretirement, we can choose to take a deep breath and recognize that, together with the problems, every stage in life is full of unique blessings and a deepened understanding of God’s leading and presence in our lives.
Maybe one of the insights suggested in these thoughts is to savor the moments. Shall we give another hug, read another story, drink another cup of hot tea, go on another date, put on some music, and sit and be still?
Wouldn’t it be wise for all of us to look for the good in every passing day and in every life event, even when it feels like we’re just enduring a difficult trial? Perhaps we need to be reminded in the worst of times that given “some” amount of time, those tough moments will become only a memory. In God’s time “this too shall pass.”
Someone once said that “time is the stuff of life,” and in the end, all of our lives will simply be made up of the moments that, all strung together, will define our lives.
Why not seize each and every moment, hold onto the good, and know that God will very soon move you past the bad? Ellen White once offered the insight that when we are safely home with Jesus, we will realize that in every moment God led us through both the good and the bad. And from the perspective of eternity, we would have it no other way than to have lived some short years and some long days!