Thursday, November 01, 2007

Numbering Our Days Aright

Can you believe it is November 1? Where did October go?

I have to confess that autumn is my least favorite season. I love the beauty of the leaves, but their flaming colors are the flickering of a funeral pyre, it seems to me, with only bleak bareness to follow--nothing like the promise of months of light and beauty which spring, summer or even late winter offers.

And autumn heralds a year's end too fast approaching. Is it possible that in a few short weeks it will be Thanksgiving...Christmas...another New Year's? (Didn't we just do this?)

So you can understand my frame of mind perhaps, and why I cried when I read aloud to my kids recently:

Time, You Old Gypsy Man
Ralph Hodgson

Time, you old gypsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?

All things I'll give you
Will you be my guest,
Bells for your jennet
Of silver the best,
Goldsmiths shall beat you
A great golden ring,
Peacocks shall bow to you,
Little boys sing.
Oh, and sweet girls will
Festoon you with may,
Time, you old gypsy,
Why hasten away?

Last week in Babylon,
Last night in Rome,
Morning, and in the crush
Under Paul's dome;
Under Paul's dial
You tighten your rein --
Only a moment,
And off once again;
Off to some city
Now blind in the womb,
Off to another
Ere that's in the tomb.

Time, you old gypsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?

I tried to explain to my kids. "You know, no matter how much you might like time to stop, it just keeps going. I know you guys don't want time to stop--you're all eager to grow up. You think that everything will be great when you're old enough to do whatever you want to do. But then you'll have to work, and you'll have bills to pay and you'll look back and think, 'Wow, when I was a kid, I didn't have to worry about anything except having fun! Those were the good times!'

"Each day is a gift from God," I continued. "'s gone already. You can never have it back. So let's enjoy each other today, and tomorrow. Someday you'll all be grown up and moved out, and these days we have together right now will be gone forever."

"Wow," my daughter said. "I never thought about that, that yesterday is gone and you can never have it back. I'm always wanting the days to go by fast until the next thing I'm looking forward to. I'm wasting a lot of days that way."

They got it.

For a moment, we all got it.

"Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
Psalm 39:4

Teach us to number our days aright,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

1 comment:

Linds said...

I know just what you mean. I lead our housegrouip on Tuesday and we are doing the Psalms, and I chose 118. Specifically Verse 24. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Not after, or when it is over, or when I have got through it. "In". Now. Daniel didn't say.... ok I will rejoice once I have got out of the lion's den. Paul didn't wait till he was out of jail. I could go on forever!

And not just Christmas, or Easter or wedding day or holiday. "This". Now. Every day. We had a really interesting discussion.

Today is all we have. Great post!