October 2019 Medenblog

60 Years, One Day at a Time

Where did the time go? You have heard that phrase and probably said that phrase. In song and poem, there is this line of wisdom – “The days go slow, but the years go fast.”

Just a few months ago, Jackie and I were privileged to join with other family members to acknowledge and celebrate the 60th Wedding Anniversary of my father and mother. They were married in a small family wedding on July 7, 1959, in the parsonage of the 1st Christian Reformed Church in Fulton, Illinois.

My parents still live in their own home, but they are not able to travel far from that home. We gathered for a meal at my sister’s home in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and our entertainment that evening was to tell stories and remember.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

- Psalm 90:12

The outline of my parent’s life is made up of some significant steps of faith and moves. As two Dutch immigrants (one from Friesland and one from Groningen), they came together in Fulton. My dad was an usher at church and the memory of one of their first “noticings” of each other was at a Calvin College concert held at the church.

Their intertwined lives have taken them from Fulton to Kalamazoo, Michigan, back to Fulton, Illinois, to Lake Worth, Florida and finally to Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Our gifts at the anniversary were a collection of memorabilia based on our memories. For example, we found a model of an Allis Chalmers WD 45 which was a key tractor for our life as a farm family. We also found a model of a bike that caused my mother to remember when she borrowed her mother’s bike and was involved in an accident. Not all memories were of joyful events, but they were all part of the fabric of life.

The final gift that we gave was a carefully wrapped package that opened unto another package and then another and then another and so on. We recalled a time when my father delighted in giving us a Christmas gift that was a big box and then opened up into another box and so on. Just like my father had great joy in seeing us struggle with opening a gift, we enjoyed seeing our father recall that memory when he finally came to a pine cone that we now identify as a “family heirloom.”

Our time together noted the blessings of having a mother and father who loved God, loved one another and loved us. We also testified to the example of knowing that you don’t get to 60 years without going through the days of a year – one day at a time.

In life and in ministry, a lesson to keep before us is that every day is one that is filled with potential. We can all join the Psalmist in this prayer –

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Thanks Mom and Dad for teaching us to number our days!

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