Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Days of future past...
On the nine-hour flight from Vancouver (at 38,000 feet over Canada’a remote arctic, Greenland, the North Atlantic, Iceland, and the United Kingdom) I had a lot of time to think before descending through the clouds into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The last six months, at Base Camp 1, seem to have passed so quickly. There have been countless paddle strokes on the ocean, challenging footsteps along forest trails, and most important, meaningful times with family and friends.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Joan, Linda, Cathy and I attended a concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre with Canadian musician and song writer Burton Cummings - every one of the 731 seats was filled! The last time I saw Cummings, in person, was when he was with The Guess Who, way back in ‘68. It would be ten years later, in my first parish that I gave a talk around the words of his emotive composition, “I’m Scared”. He’s a couple of years older than me and about to turn 70, but he rocked the house and touched our hearts with his energy, his music, his passion, his stories...and his humility.
In a FB post the next day, Burton reflected on how, as we age, “our future isn’t as big as it used to be”. It’s so very true, isn’t it? Our past continues to draw from our future and none of us can possibly know how much time we have. As the Moody Blues sang, our lives become “days of future past”.
How essential it is, therefore, to understand each present moment as precious and completely non-renewable. We mustn’t waste any time in regret about the past or anxiousness about the future. Why? Because when we do, we "lose" a little piece of life, forever. It escapes and flutters down by the wayside...unused, unnoticed, unappreciated. Life’s moments are far too precious for that.
Burton Cummings rocked us out that night, as he has for five decades...and he gently offered the reminder that our future is not the endless expanse of time that it once seemed to be when we were young.
It’s never too late to make every moment count, and to work at being thankful for each and every one. Yes, even the tough ones. Those, after all, are the moments that offer some of life’s richest and most valuable lessons. And they are the ones that make us strong.