This Labor Day I Went Way Back When

Yesterday was nice. Donya and I spent the day with her parents and her sister (and Jimbo). It was a slow-moving, easy-going day of banging around little curio shops in Fort Worth and Grapevine...a thing I can take or leave. The nice part was the way it felt like old times, simpler times, times when life seemed a little less stressful and I was a lot more sure of who I was and was meant to be.

On the way from Cowtown to Grapevine, we swung through Haltom City, the place where Donya and I got our start in church ministry a million years ago. We drove by the apartment where we lived. We meandered down the streets of the town, streets that still feel somehow familiar. We drove by the Friendly Lane Baptist Church, which, unlike the deteriorating city itself, seems not to have changed a bit.

When it was all done, we were home, and everyone but me was asleep, I tried to converse with Gene-back-then. I wanted to know if he could have imagined me. What would he have thought if he had known what he would become? What if that young preacher boy had been told in no uncertain terms that the day would come when he would not be preaching anymore? What if he had known that he would, instead, travel the United States adjusting losses for unfortunate victims of sundry storms?

I asked him that. His reply was a simple, "Pffft."

He was a cocky scamp. Gotta give him that. Cock-sure of himself, his destiny, and his calling. I feel like I know a good deal more than he did. (How sad would it be if I didn't?) Yet, I am much less sure of myself than he was. I am less certain of the future, less dogmatic, less apt to "know" as much as he did...and much more likely to question what I do think I know.

Don't misread this entry. This is not a lamentation. It is not a sad yearning for what might have been or could have been or should have been. None of us really knows what could or should be. We just know what is, and we are pressed upon to make the most of it. Most of the time, I do. Sometimes, I don't. Yesterday, I did.

Today, I will try to do at least that much again.