The other day my son asked me how long ago something had happened to me. (Can’t even remember what it was right now—must be the encroaching Alzheimer’s.)
I said, “That was twenty years ago. No, wait a minute. It was THIRTY years ago. That was quick.”
“It sure was,” he said. “Ten years went by in like two seconds.”
And so it did. (Only one life, ’twill soon be past. . . .)
In my wide-margin Bible, I’ve been writing the dates on my teeny-tiny marginal commentaries for not twenty but THIRTY years, since about 1980. At the time I began, in my early twenties, I envisioned this practice eventually helping me to chronicle my walk with the Lord, so that when I was around fifty (in the blink of an eye) I could reference the notes I wrote when I was younger and see how I’d grown.
In the margin of my Bible I’ve not only made observations about the meaning of the text, but I’ve bewailed my sin, corrected my mistaken impressions, and even had arguments with myself.
But the main thing I’ve seen is the few times through the years when I actually cried out to God for understanding (rather than just relying on my own God-given common sense), He actually did open His Word to me beyond academic observations. When I said, “Lord, this just isn’t interesting. Will you help me to appreciate it?” He heard my childish cry. When I said, “This is so long ago and far away. Will you make it real in my life?” He did, in ways I didn’t even anticipate.
One big thing I see, when I look back through my notes, is the faithfulness of God. I stand frail and weak before Him, marveling at His goodness.