I found myself standing under threatening skies, bundled up from head to toe cheering on Faith and Joshua as they ran around an increasingly muddy oval grassy track at Capstone Park. They were participating in the annual “Boosterthon – Fun Run”, a fundraiser for their elementary school. As modern popular music blared, “Sweet Caroline” – the head cheerleader for this event danced, sang and shouted out words of encouragement to the runners as they ran lap after lap for about thirty minutes.
I was not alone as many other proud parents bobbed up and down to the bass beat in an effort to stay warm. Keeping my eye on Faith and Joshua was difficult as the sea of fourth graders and third graders created a tsunami effect of an ongoing wave of white T-shirts creating quite the blur.
A mom was standing next to me as her daughter ran over to her. The mom’s smile gleamed with pride as her daughter approached. My eyes, along with other parents followed this fourth grade student as she made her way to about a foot away from her mother. The daughter stretched out her right hand as her mom delightfully reached out as well readying herself for what seemed to be an imminent embrace.
The little girl stopped abruptly and with outstretched hand said, “Here Mom!” and unexpectedly handed her a crumpled paper cup, a piece of trash. Her mom graciously took the cup and stuttered, “Thank you…”
I burst out laughing at the mom’s shocked face.
The corners of her mouth softened and she too started laughing.
Our eyes caught and her next comment has stuck with me all day…
“It never ends…”
Life on this earth as we know it will one day end.
Cancer will cease to threaten our very lives.
Friendships will come to a close.
Violence and abuse will have a final day.
Family members will die off.
Addictions will curtail.
Prison sentences will conclude.
Depression will stop.
Dreams will be doused.
Freedoms will be bound.
Jobs and vocations will no longer be.
The breathing will become breathless.
The beginning will have an end.
Time itself will run out.
Rivers and lakes will dry up.
Dysfunctions will halt.
Everything we know will end.
Take a moment, take a breath before you read this next paragraph…
When we talk about…
God’s unconditional love,
God’s amazing grace,
God’s sea of mercy,
God’s furious love for you,
God’s boisterous and bellowing laughter,
God’s heavenly kingdom,
God’s eternal salvation,
God’s unparalleled acceptance,
God’s terrific tenderness,
God’s constant comfort,
God’s future and God’s hope,
God’s offering a second and third chance, over and over,
God’s perfect timing,
God’s crafty creativity,
God’s omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence,
God’s strong and gentle arms that wrap around our souls,
God’s radiant reign,
When we talk about these things…
“It never ends…”
Laugh often and Fear not!