So today was the last regular class for Bible Study Fellowship, and we sat around in our circle and discussed the Gospel of John for the last time. I have always loved the final chapter of John, when Jesus appears to His disciples as they’ve been out fishing, tells them where to cast their nets, and invites them to come eat, cooking fish over the fire He’s built on the beach. I’ve just looked up the Sea of Tiberias and found the lovely painting pictured here by the French painter James Tissot. (By the way, I’d always assumed that the fish that ended up getting grilled was one of those caught by the disciples, but the wording of the actual text makes clear that Jesus had brought it along: “ When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” [John 21:9 NIV]}
And now it’s over. I said during our discussion that the passage of time has always intrigued me. I looked at one of the group members and said, “Now I look at Stephanie, and now I look away, and that moment is gone forever into the past, never to be revisited.” (Or some such wording. We were discussing how we as humans are “trapped in time” and can’t imagine what it would be like to live in the eternal present as God does.) While there are events that we long for, plan for, and hope for that never occur (a marriage proposal, a job offer, a pregnancy), there is never any doubt that the clock is going to keep moving. Tomorrow will come if you wait long enough! So when I wrote originally about the next 52 days there were five weeks left of the BSF year. It seemed like such a long time still to go, and yet now it’s over.
What will I do with that extra time that I’ll have now that I’m not attending leaders’ meetings (9:30 AM to 11:45 AM on Tuesday mornings) and the regular meetings (9:30 AM to 11:20 AM on Wednesday mornings)? It’s a safe assumption that next week is going to be All Packing, All the Time. But, incredible as that seems, there will come a day when we’re moved out of this lovely house and installed in our new quarters, all the boxes will be unpacked or stored, all the new towels will be on the shelves or the towel bars, all the clothes will be in the closet. I’ll look around and say, “Now what?” I have to admit to a certain amount of trepidation about getting everything done, but we’ll do it because we have to. That deadline of Monday, May 22, is getting closer and closer. And then . . . we’ll have signed the papers and the house will no longer be ours. That frantic stretch (and it’s sure to be frantic, just in the nature of things) will seem benign as we look back on it. It will seem as if we’ve always lived in the lower level of my dear in-laws’ house.
What plans do you have for the future? How will you move forward once they’re fulfilled?