Keith Wishum: Running towards twilight
Published 6:52 am Sunday, September 3, 2017
On the 10th anniversary of his death, the newspaper where he had worked as a columnist reprinted excerpts from several of Lewis Grizzard’s columns. In one of those, the humorist wrote of his beloved dog’s barking – and his own:
I think he has begun to bark at intangibles. Ideas, the wind, old memories of his swifter days, darkness turning into light and light turning into darkness. I think he barks now at approaching old age, at the fact Alpo is now making a cat food, for God’s sakes. At the fact things are changing so quickly around him he can’t keep up with it all and that squirrels just get younger and faster every day.
They say if people live with a pet long enough, they will begin to resemble their pets. Maybe personalities grow together, too. There’s a lot out there that’s getting younger and faster on me too; and baseball players are wearing earrings, for God’s sakes. We’re both running toward twilight, I suppose, barking at a moon that was once our friend. Now, it simply hangs there and tells us another day is lost forever.
Running toward twilight. Sad words. Sad because they are true. Sad because we cannot slow this running. Since Grizzard died, another 8,500 days have slipped by! They gain momentum as the weight of each day is stacked on the one before.
We can’t stop this race. But we can change the “another day lost forever” part. The aging apostle Paul wrote: “Make every minute count” (Ephesians 5:16, CEV). Is there some way we can make our fleeting minutes matter?
Paul’s letter provides interesting answers. He suggests simple, everyday things: Take time to be grateful for what is good in every day. Honor the Lord and put others first. Love and care for our spouses. Obey parents. Teach our children to behave well. And do our best at our jobs.
That’s hardly rocket science, is it? We are not called to do some great new thing. The secret to living a life that counts is simply tending to the little details of love. It is something that anyone can do – starting now. Perhaps the best way to make this present minute count is to use it to think of what items on the list above you can do today.
We are indeed running toward the twilight. Let’s not allow a single day be lost forever.
A Word from Williams Road is provided by the Williams Road Church.