Click: I was crawling.
Click: I was toddling.
Click: I dove into the wonderful, finger-painted world of kindergarten.
Click: I was thrust into the awkward, confused, drama-infused middle school age.
Click: I was a spunky, competitive highschooler.
Click: I was flipping my tassel as I hugged a teary-eyed, sentimental Mother and a proud, smiling Father.
Click: I was the fearless, ambitious college freshman who viewed the world as her playground of opportunity.
Click: I was handed a signed college diploma, sealed with a firm, presidential handshake.
Click: I was no longer the seated, knowledge-craving student, but now tackled the role as the knowledge-providing teacher, instructing the minds of the next generation.
Click: Here I am today…
Entering a room of peppered-haired individuals―most using the walking assistance of a cane or a wheel chair, some hand-fed, some shaky as victims of Parkinson’s or the like, and yet others with no conscience state at all, really―I suddenly felt the weight. Time shackling our feet, slowly (and always the possibility for quickly) pulling me under until some day my head will submerge underneath the surface and I will be kneeling at the throne of my sweet Lord.
In this room of elderly who Time has nearly engulfed, I suddenly felt the suffocation, the shortness of breath, the panic. Those able to speak, robotically bark out all across the room like a bitter chorus, “Time sure does fly”. And the burden of this cliché statement gives birth to fresh meaning for me. At that moment I realize truly how much Time is in fact already at work on my body and life. There’s so much to do, so much left to accomplish, so much life to live. In fact…what if I die today? What if I die tomorrow? There are so many un-saved left to reach. So many dreams left to fulfill. What about the desire for marriage, traveling and missions? My pulse quickens, my brow begins perspiring. My Nanny reaches a spoon up to my Pappaw’s mouth…my Pappaw…my only Grandpa I ever had opportunity to meet―the one who used to school me in basketball, taught me how to shoot spit balls, instructed me on spunk and quick wit, and took me on granddaughter dates―yes, he is now being spoon fed like a little, incompetent child. I feel the tears pricking at the corners of my eyes. Fight them, Sarah…like always. You cannot cry. Not here. Not in front of anyone. Be strong. Be courageous. Fight it.
Then it strikes: a different sort of thought. As if my mind zooming 155mph down the speedway suddenly jerks down the exit lane. I go from intense fear of this man-made creature called “Time”, to learning a lesson about the God-formed concept called “Love”. My Nanny, who has loved my Pappaw since she was 13, knows this man, the lyrics to her life’s love song, is expected to slip away at any moment; but yet, there is no fear in her love. There is no fear in his death. She continues to love him unconditionally. She lives the sentiment “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”―a thought I have struggled and battled with. One I have wondered if the reality of pain in loss truly outweighs the gain of having loved and been loved. But sitting there, watching the reel of the real-life love scene between my elderly grandparents take place in my presence, I realize the risk is indeed worth it. The companionship, the fearless love, the love that never fails—the 1 Corinthians 13 description of love—is the standard God calls us to in any human relationship. He calls us to not be creatures of independence but dependence. He created woman for man so that man would not be alone. I finally grasped it is not time, a human shackle, I should fear, but instead fear not loving as I am called to love. Time may have its grip on my earthly body, but I do not fear that. I fear not living every day, every moment, as my last opportunity to love another, to make a difference, to pursue Christ in my life. If we have not loved, we are but a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. It’s time to love, for love never fails.