“The Count of Days”

She runs through the leaves with no thought but the moment. She grabs the abandoned rake and marches like a soldier. The rake is cast aside in a moment of dancing. It’s late afternoon on a beautifully blustery November day, and I sit on my side porch and watch my daughter play.

I never have to wonder what season it is, or what holiday is fast approaching. All I need do is take one of my many trips to Kroger and see what goods are on display. Halloween candy? Must be early September. Christmas stuff out? Gotta be the end of October. Thanksgiving got lost in there somewhere along the way.

These days it seems as though time is speeding up. You can’t look on social media without being reminded of how many days until Christmas. I don’t need Facebook for that…I have kids. Audra kept a running countdown until her birthday (nine years old!) just a few days ago, and Cameron’s big day is coming up on the seventeenth (turning sixteen!).

I long for those kinds of countdowns. Oh, I have countdowns of my own…my lists just aren’t as halcyon. I’m counting days….days of change are fast approaching and still I wait for direction.

I wonder if Moses felt this way during the Israelite’s exile in the desert…forty years is a long time. Made to wander a year for each day the spies were in the Promised Land, the newly delivered slaves simply didn’t believe God and disobeyed Him at seemingly their earliest convenience. They couldn’t receive what He promised until that entire generation passed away.

Did Moses count those days? How horrible to think about the last days of that disobedient generation. Did it come down to one final person? To wait for someone to die so that a promise can be fulfilled…that burden was heavy indeed.

You don’t have to be in the desert to wander the wasteland. These days of waiting…counting the days until the next chapter begins..I’m living in this beautiful wasteland. Some days the beauty just can’t be found. The clouds gather but the silver lining is elusive. Hope is just another four letter word.

But my heart cries out to the giver of Hope. I dial “God’s phone number” and wait for the answers.

“Endure” is the response.

The clouds gather and the wind grows colder. She has long since gathered her playthings and moved inside, where other games await. She has no need of questions and answers. Those come in their time. She remembers yesterday and knows tomorrow is coming. Today is enough for her. And still she dances…

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34 MSG)