Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

by Reverend Dan on May 11, 2022
I went back to elementary school recently. First grade to be specific. (All-in-all, except for the occasional not making it to the bathroom mishap, I liked that part of my education better than high school, college, graduate school, or doctoral studies.) The big pencils, the REALLY big-lined paper, crayons, learning to read about seeing Dick and Jane run, getting the ice-cream nickel out of my pocket – those were exciting times. If I remember correctly, we even had a nap time after lunch. Miss Stevens, our teacher, had it all together. She was the original bomb.

To all of us in that room, the world was new and filled with awe and wonder. Then life happened, and the world started to change – or maybe it was just me. The older I got the more my worldview became jaded, and the anticipation and excitement of every new day began to fade. Getting up to go to school in the morning became a chore. School projects and earning money and, in the words of my grandmother, “wishing my life away” so I could be 16 and drive took over. Even the joy of a Brown Mule and Nutty Buddy lost its luster.

It's ironic that now, at 62, some of the original joys of life in the first grade are regaining their importance in my life. That really big print is once again getting traction with me. A nap after lunch is something I look forward to. And a Fudgesicle? Manna from heaven.

Now you all get to see what my family and friends suffer. After I wrote that first sentence, I got a little sidetracked. Anyway, what took me back was a picture an old friend posted on Facebook. The picture was of an annual event we had at our elementary school: May Day. The picture was sometime in the early 1960’s (around the time I was there.) There were games on the lawn, lunch was a cookout eaten outside, and the “May Court” of the older girls paraded the school grounds (as most of us in the first grade greeted them with, “girls, gross” while the older boys said other things, mostly unrepeatable.) But the coup de gras was the “May Pole Dance.” Everyone involved held one end of a streamer hanging down from the top of the pole, and we weaved in and out until all the streamers (and a few students) were wrapped tightly around the pole.

God’s gift of memories is one of the sweetest treasures I know. Too often, and unfortunately, we’re so busy in the moment that we never know the value of that moment until it becomes a memory. Mary “treasured up” all her memories of Jesus and recalled them often as she “pondered them in her heart." We all have the chance to do the same. I pray you will take some time to cherish the memories God has given you, but that you will not lose the treasure of each moment as you live it. Being present in every moment makes the memory that much sweeter.