Infinite time… how old does one have to be to grow out of Muder’s Law, which he (Doug Muder) mentioned at the beginning of his GA blog found here:
I am meditating on that now. Actually, I’m cringing. This seems to be an Achilles heel of sorts for me. I always think that I will have infinite time to do so many, many things ‘sometime’ in the future. And that could be tomorrow – so much for ‘sufficiently far in the future’.
I came home from my trip shaken up somewhat. My return from the south ended up taking an extra day and an extra 350 miles due to the flooding in central Pennsylvania and New York. It was one of those ‘you can’t get there from here’ type of experiences. I was stranded for a time in Sidney, NY, a town along I-88 which will be closed indefinitely as it collapsed in both directions. The town of Sidney bridges collapse from one side of town to the other – it spans the Susquehanna River. I tried to go east and over the mountains to get to through roads. No dice. One often thinks of floods in the valleys that rivers run through. I’m here to tell you that water running off of mountains can just as easily take out mountain roads before the water gets to the valleys.
After driving for about an hour and a half, all roads led back to that flooded town. I got out of the car for a cold drink and talked to several townspeople who had congregated at the convenience store. They had lost communication with people on the other side of the river – family, friends, schoolmates of their children. They were frightened and panicky. I realized how this flood was much more than an inconvenience to my travels. It's going to disrupt their lives for a long time, as the major factory and town employer right behind us was under water up to the rooftop. There was only one way in and out of town – and with major flooding all along those roads, they were also worried that food and other necessities would not be able to come in for a few days. I felt guilty about the snacks I purchased.
Finally returning, there was a death in my new congregation and another member near death. So I am planning one memorial service now and tending to the other situation. As July begins, I’m aware that I had many plans for this month – lots of travel, getting completely settled in, getting all those pesky things done like car registration etc., and knowing my way around before I officially begin this new ministry. Well, I have already begun this ministry. And I have miles to go before I’m completely settled in.
Heck, I haven’t even had time since my return to look at the videos of GA! I wanted to do that while I was away, but the church’s laptop had some quirky issues and there was no wireless connection at my Mom’s retirement facility. Video over dialup doesn’t work too well, I found. I do want to see at least the big parts of what I missed.
So the infinite time I was counting on in July will quickly sift through the metaphorical hourglass, I’m afraid. This always happens, and I’m not quick to learn the finitude of time vs. all I want to do and see and experience.
Since I have experienced a lot of death lately, this realization is ratcheting up the fear level – the primal fear that I’ll never be able to do all that I’d like to do and experience all that I’ve always assumed that I will experience in this lifetime. It’s a chilling fear, the kind that will take a long time to meditate on and come to some peace with. May I begin that meditation today and not kid myself that infinite time will take care of these fears.