I wrote out this little story based on on a journal entry I made upon leaving Arizona campmeeting.
I could hardly believe some of the strange things Time did that week - one moment it seemed as if we had been there for ever, then suddenly,the wonderful and amazing trip had come to an end. It flew by with such breath-taking rapidity that it caught me unprepared to say goodbye, to move on with Life's Story.
But then a thought struck me, a thought so awe-inspiring that I had to at least attempt to write it down.
Each moment we draw breath, we are shaping the course of the whole rest of our life. Every word uttered, each deed done or left undone, will be held accountable to God at the Judgment Day.
As I wrote in my journal:
"Every moment carries me further away from the wonderful chapter which has just been penned in my life's book, making me depend more and more on the memories. I almost cannot bear it, but for the thought that just as each moment whisks me away from the past, it also carries me forward to fill the next moments in my life with that which will matter in Eternity, one by one.
A whole lifetime, made up of single moments.
Each moment to fill with glory, to be encompassed in the light of the Savior, to strive to do His will, to bless and encourage the other lives around me.
"So I can go on living, after all. Not only have I been blessed with many, many wonderful and dear memories, but I find that, more importantly still, I have been freshly encouraged to take every moment captive for the will of my Father. He has given me an incredible gift. Let me not waste it."
I penned this little story based on on that journal entry.
She stood at the kitchen sink, apron-clad, a song on her lips, her busy fingers transforming the tumbling pile of soiled plates and bespattered bowls into a neat row of sparkling ceramic. The lights were low, and there was a quietness about the room that showed she was alone. The table was emptied, the morrow's bread cooling on its rack, the floor brought to its usual state of shining neatness - everywhere were signs of many long hours of toil.
The girl worked on, seemingly unconscious of the fact that her legs were aching, her hair ruffled, the tasks yet to be completed still loomed ahead between her and the moment when she could quit the room she had occupied so long. As the round enamel clock ticked its familiar relentless staccato, she looked tired, and her face grew weary, yet it never lost an expression of deep contentment and peace which even a stranger could plainly see was a habitual one. True, once she gave a long sigh, but it was quickly replaced with a wry smile, then a little laugh, as she soaped and scrubbed, her eyes gazing through the dark glass of the window on visions which no other could see.
To an ignorant observer, the little scene displayed a picture of inglorious drudgery - a wasted life, laboring away at seemingly irksome tasks, monotonous in their regularity. Each moment she stood there might have been spent in some other way - she could have used her time to give herself pleasure. And yet, she remained in the place she had taken up, willingly giving the hours to perform these small and tedious duties of everyday life. To all appearances, this girl was a fool to throw away her life in such a thankless fashion!
If only that same shortsighted observer had been able to see the joy in her heart. . . if only they, too, could know what it is to have the perfect peace which fills us, and spills over on the lives around us, when we are living for the King of Kings. For this girl had been blessed with an incredible gift, and she knew it. A whole lifetime of moments lay before her, slipping into the passing of time like precious pearls off a string. Each one full of potential, to be redeemed by filling it with thoughts and works glorifying her Maker. She knew that the time she was using was not her own - that it had been given her to use to the best of her ability for the glory of the One who bestowed it on her.
An entire lifetime, made up of single moments. An entire life living in the light of the Savior, striving to do His will, to bless and encourage the other lives around it. Sometimes loosing a precious moment through carelessness or self-indulgence, but ever being given a new one to move forward with, to beautify a life, to be remembered by.
The girl drew her eyes away from the shadowy windowpane. She looked at the clock for a long moment. The second hand moved with almost frightening regularity, continually ticking off the seconds. After the last platter had been placed in the dish rack, she went to the open kitchen door and stood looking into the dusk. The warm summer breeze rustled in the poplars overhead, and the faint, sweet music of a fiddle wafted up the hill from the valley. She stood there in the doorway for a great while, with her face raised to the sky.
In that little scene, I saw a picture of glorious dedication - a blessed and useful life, giving of herself, claiming each and every moment for the glory and praise of the Savior.
I saw her smile. She wiped her hands on the well-worn apron, and closed the door.