Psychology has proven what the writer of Ecclesiastes always knew...that there is no such thing as a "state of arrival". We set goals, we aspire, we pursue...all great things to do. But by the time we attain whatever it was we wanted so much, by the time we arrive at our longed-for destination, the "getting" is never all we imagined it would be. We want the next thing. This is human nature. There simply is no changing it, unless you can change your hard-wiring. It is a result of the fall...we work, we sweat, and then we must do it all again, because this world and all that is in it is passing away - in perpetual entropy.
Please hear me: Now is the good part. All "later" is, is a "now" that has not happened yet. You will never be happy later, if you are not happy now. If you do not learn to savor and love "now", you will not even recognize the "later". Today is the best day, because it is the only day you have. You won't be satisfied - fully satisfied - until heaven. In this life, on this side of eternity, the best days are always the season you are in now.
Why? By the time you reach the goal you have set, your brain has already annexed the property. What once was the thing that would make you happy when you finally got it, now becomes one more thing in a long list of attainments, small and large, that continue on and on. And if you never reach the goal you set, if you never attain the thing you wanted...well, what then? The eyes of man are never satisfied with anything but their Maker.
The goal of singing a song is not to finish it. Think about that. The idea is to simply sing. To enjoy singing.
"Let my life be like a love song."
This time next week, the last of my two daughters will be married. This time next week, the wedding will be over, and Tim and I will be cleaning up the church sanctuary, preparing it for Sunday. My thoughts, no doubt, will be a mixture of lingering over the beautiful events of the day, and looking ahead into Sunday, mentally preparing for what comes next.
There is always a "next".
Now is all there is to take joy in. All of this process, before the wedding day, is the best part of it. Next week, as I busily decorate the church and clean out the gorgeous post-and-beam barn for the reception - that will be the "fun part". As I hear the soft music and my son seats me in my place at the front of the church as mother of the Bride, and I then stand up to welcome the Bride to the strains of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"....that will be the best part.
When Sarah walks down that aisle, into the arms of her beloved, that will become the best part.
And when I, at the end of the day, sink wearily and gratefully into the arms of my beloved, and we switch off the light for rest, with a lingering kiss and a whisper of "mission accomplished"....ah, that will be the sweetest moment, too.
Life goes on. Always, it goes on. Now is the best part.