“It was like nothing else in my life, that river of love that I could dip into and leave and return to once more and find it still flowing.”
Many years ago, and I’m talking 25-30 years, my husband got a coupon for a six hour lake and river cruise. At the time, six hours on a boat wasn’t working into our lifestyle. We were busy raising kids. Well, it just so happens that my husband is a master at keeping papers together. He knows where it all is and keeps track. So, recently he pulled out his cruise coupon and took it down to cash it in! I was skeptical that it would be received, and opted to let him make that discovery on his own! He came back with two tickets for the river/cruise, lunch included. What a great surprise! So, this last Sunday we rode our bikes down to the boat launch, cashed in our tickets and boarded the boat.
When we settled in we both mused about being on the water for SIX hours. What would we do? I heard God say, “nothing. just relax and take it all in. I have created this beauty for you; it’s time to rest!” It took a little bit to relax. It’s been a very active and busy summer. We are working a lot, playing a lot, enjoying our family a lot, and now to just sit on a boat and chill was unfamiliar to me. Both of us had to slow down our minds and decide to stop thinking about the stuff we had to do and just “cash in” on the beauty God was putting in front of us.
We started on the top of the boat. The sun was shining, but it was still a little chilly. Another couple joined us and we began to visit with them. He told us about his career as a police officer and we were blessed to hear it. We thanked him for his loyal service of saving lives. We heard about their poodle, kids, and home. After awhile, we decided to head to a warmer area and went inside the boat. We played cards, talked, took in the scenery. I had on a shirt that I bought in Nashville, and the lady at the table across from me got up to comment on my shirt and to tell me her story about being in Tennessee, her kids, her neighbors, her life. She seemed delighted.
As it got warmer and after eating lunch we made our way back to the top of the boat. We’ve spent a lot of time on this lake/river so we felt nostalgic about life. Years gone by watching our children jump in the lake. Weekends at our floating cabin when our three older boys were little, boating, tubing, falling through the ice and being attacked by bees. Lots of memories of days gone by.
Most all the people on the boat were older then my husband and I. Retired folks visiting from out of town, hanging out with friends, and just looking for fun stuff to do. I marvel at the way time just moves right before our very eyes. At the beginning of this river coupon I was in my early 30’s. I had moments that I wondered if the day would ever end, would life ever settle down to a daily contentment, would I ever be able to cash in on all the work? And then, like a snap of my fingers my kids grew up, I dealt better with the ups and downs, we met God in new places, and I realize that because of God I’ve been “cashing-in” along! He has always been there calling me to seek, love, hope, and rest. He has always been there with His ticket of redemption happy to accept it at all times. He has never put an expiration date on His love, never! He has always been there to hear my story, walk with me through my story, and give me people to bring tidbits of inspiration and wisdom.
The wonder of it all!
I don’t know what the future holds, but I have a feeling that in 30 years when I’m in my 80’s, I’ll look back with amazement at how time just passes right before my eyes. I will understand the beauty of God even more, and I will not hesitate to “cash-in” on the beauty He has for me. What about you? What are you cashing in on today?6