It's so weird how time affects you.

Back when I was younger, I used to journal all the time, and then I just got out of it. Time had that effect on horses, too, it seems: I "just got out of it". And dance. And all the things I used to love doing.

I wonder quite often: why? Why did I just stop?

Sometimes it feels like I don't do anything that used to make me who I was anymore, like I've lost my identity over time. It's a scary thought, really . . . like a hill eroding. What's left of "me"?

I still like to write, but then I don't too often . . . not even journaling, like I used to. I do blog pretty regularly (ahem), but sometimes even that seems more haphazard than not. I love playing the piano, but I'm not taking lessons . . . I'm kind of just stuck in the same rut as I've been in for years. Last fall I didn't play much, because I never did at school, and I found myself getting "used to" not playing, in the sense that I became calloused to missing it. That was sad to realize.


It is so fickle, yet so predictable in the way it wears you down, if you let it.

We grow old with time . . . it drains the energy out of us in a day, with each passing year. It pulls us away from things we used to love, and it sends us hurtling toward what we don't know. It brings new opportunities and experiences, yes, but at the expense of the "good ol' days" (if there are such days). And mostly it sends people flying in and out of our lives, taking who we thought would stay and bringing who we never expected . . . and then there are always those people who do stay and, in essence, transcend time, or maybe simply withstand it.

You can't really get away from time at all.

It's constantly dragging.

In a lot of ways it's beneficial, I suppose, but there are so many moments you wish could last . . . at least longer, if not forever. There are so many times or stages in life that you wish could've lasted, or will last.

I think about being a kid . . . schoolwork in the morning, writing books instead of one-page assignments . . . and then playing outside in the afternoon: Cowboys and Indians; pioneers, collecting "berries" from under the Oak trees and cooking them in pots outside our log cabin; biking on the chalk roads drawn on the driveway; earning pennies for picking Oak worms off leaves and making dollars in an hour; going on bike rides and trips to area playgrounds, all of which we named, and "shake runs" . . . and on Saturdays, going on picnics or to the fish hatchery in Big Rapids or to the park in Lake Odessa. I think about dance lessons in the evenings, piano lessons and composing songs, and horseback riding lessons and crying when it rained on lesson days and getting our first pony.

I think about high school . . . of getting those first progress reports and realizing homeschooling really had taught me a lot . . . of getting to know students and making friends . . . of joining soccer and having so much fun with hours of practices and every game away and not winning much but always having a blast as part of a team, sweating together . . . of science fair projects and award days . . . of volunteering at Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding . . . of planning senior prom and our senior class trip . . . and even of choices I wish I hadn't made.

I miss those days, those carefree years.

But for as much as I sometimes wish they could've frozen in time, I know I would've missed a lot in the years to come, missed a lot of things right now . . . new experiences, new challenges, new questions, and new people.

We can never stay where we are, and we can never remain who we used to be, either, if we are moving forward. There is no neutral in the Christian life, and if we are intentional about becoming more like Christ, we cannot stand still: there must be direction toward perfection. As we mature in faith and Godliness, change is inevitable. Sometimes change comes from new priorities and values, new uses of our time . . . doing less of something and more of another. Sometimes change comes from new goals, new interactions with different people. I think about who I used to be and what I used to enjoy . . . and I realize I haven't lost who I was. God has simply been working in the person of that crazy, carefree little girl . . . that learning high school student . . . that college student without a plan whose only certainty is Him. He has been rearranging and adjusting and reshaping and guiding in this journey called life.

I admit sometimes it feels like time is dragging you away from what you know and who you are. But imagine the moments and experiences and relationships yet to come that we would likely miss were it not for the passing of time. In this sense, time is the mechanism by which God pushes us toward the life He has planned for us, toward the person each of us is meant to become through His molding and changing.
"God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way."
      ~ Leighton Ford

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