Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Twenty-Seven


            I thought I heard thunder last night during the night when I awoke from sleep briefly, but now I think it was the strong north winds that had moved in with the cold front.  The strong winds are still blowing this morning, winds of tropical storm strength most likely, bringing waves that are worthy of surfers on the West Coast of the US.  The tide is at low tide right now so the rocks in the bay are revealed but at high tide they are completely covered by the waters of the bay. 
            A cold north wind is blowing.  The temperature is 60 but it feels more like 45 with the wind blowing furiously.  When the conditions are like this, the bay seems more like the wide open ocean which it is since the Bay of Fundy empties into the Atlantic.  The sun is shining brightly after a cloudy start but the sun’s rays are not enough to warm up the air as the wind batters about everything that is not tied down. 
            There are two days left here including today and the plan is not to venture too far away but to get out into the country one final time to catch glimpses of the autumn colors which are beginning to show.  There is a country road that runs almost parallel to Hwy 1 and we have not driven it very far so we thought we would explore it a bit more.  It connects to others roads we have traveled twice which are dotted with dairy farms and apple orchards.  Communities with lovely names like Paradise and Clarence are along the way, communities with no visible businesses but with little stands here and there advertising vegetables and fruits for sale at houses along the way. 
            We have eaten most of the fresh vegetables we had bought to cook with so we are at a place where we do not want to buy many more as our days here are numbered.  We may buy some green onions to go along with the remainder of a butternut squash we used a few days ago and the rest has been in the fridge waiting to be used in a pasta dish.   We have fresh basil, tomatoes, and the squash so it should be good sautéed together with the onions and a bit of cheese.  We have two kinds of fish in the freezer to be used too so there is the core of two dinners which is about how many we have left to prepare at the cottage before leaving. 
            What we are experiencing is called “in between time.”  We all experience such times in life.  It is not time to go yet but the time is so limited where we are that we do not know what to do to pass the time before we go.  So, you have to be creative and use your time wisely. 
            When I was a school teacher, the day before a holiday or the last day of school was like that.  Some teachers allowed their students to have a “free day” with nothing planned for them to do to use the time before leaving.  Those teachers usually had a pretty rough day as students would create things to do that would usually be things that the teacher would not want them to do.  That was not always the case but the motto that I lived by on that day was, “Busy people are happy people.”  So, I usually had projects for students to do to keep them busy during the day so that all our lives would be happy ones. 
            In between time can come for us in other ways besides preparing for travel.  Waiting for treatment for a disease, waiting at the bedside of a sick one, preparing for a test or medical exam, sitting by the phone to hear about a job offer, thinking about a new house to purchase for a move-- All are things that happen normally in life that are part of in between time. 
            Sometimes the anticipation or excitement of what is to come helps us to wait.  Sometimes it can be heart wrenching though.  A part of us wants to go forward but   another part tells us to wait.  Living useful meaningful lives during times of waiting becomes the purpose that we are looking for in life. 
            When I filled in report cards for students as a teacher, there was a box on some of them that said, “Uses time wisely.”  It was up to the teacher to decide if a check filled in that box or not.  The teacher could observe who used time wisely and who did not over the course of the grading period. 
            We all have to use our time wisely as we wait during in between times which fill up many periods of our lives.  We can trust God to lead us to make good decisions so that our time will truly be used wisely and we will live meaningful, useful lives. 
            “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time…” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

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