One of the “fun” events this summer to happen in my neck of the woods is a set of long overdue road projects.
I’m not sure where the funding came from but my rural county suddenly decided that several roads, including the one leading to my house, would no longer suffer from insufficient patches that wore out in a week and would instead get the full treatment-totally repaved, new stripes and new guardrails.
I admit, it was a bit inconvenient.
Especially when for an entire week I could no longer travel the most direct and timely path toward the closest town because the road was closed.
And, more than once I was stuck behind that “pilot truck” crawling along a mile or so until freed from the restraint and allowed to go on my merry way. Once I was even stuck in my own driveway, unsure of whether or not I could even leave the property due to large and loud machinery blocking my path.
BUT, it was temporary.
It was only going to last so long. These efforts would culminate in a smoother, more enjoyable and accessible way to get from “here” to “there”.
It was not going to last FOREVER.
I learned a few things from those weeks of waiting.
One thing I learned was that I still think (in spite of burying a child) I have some control.
And when that sense of control is threatened, I resent it.
I rarely have to go anywhere that can’t be rescheduled. But when I was sitting at the end of my driveway, trying to figure out if I could even drive out onto the road, I was frustrated. Actually, I was downright angry that these folks were blocking my way.
Silly, I know. But revealing.
Another thing I learned was that I could more easily endure inconvenience or delay when I chose to focus on the eventual outcome instead of my current irritation.
If I looked at the clock on my dash and counted up the minutes I spent waiting, I was indignant that my agenda was delayed. But if I could turn my thoughts to how pleasant it would be for years when they finished this project, the minutes flew by much faster-it didn’t seem like much of a sacrifice.
Some of my waiting was done beside the cemetery where Dominic’s earthly shell is buried.
And it made me think again of how very brief life is-not only his-which was shorter than most-but even my own-should I live the threescore and ten David wrote about in Psalms.
No matter how much I have to endure in this life, it is but a moment compared to an infinite and unending eternity with Jesus and my son.
Eternal perspective is hard to hold onto. Especially when missing Dominic is so much harder than rearranging my schedule or waiting behind a dump truck for my turn to pass down the road.
But the principle stands: when I focus my heart and mind and soul’s eyes on forever, even this awful pain of burying my child is a little easier to bear.
If I can lift my head-or let Jesus do it for me-I can cast my gaze to the horizon of His promise.
The troubles of this life are temporary.
But the joy of Heaven is eternal.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG