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Holding Time

If D. Mark Minick could have designed the view out of my kitchen window, I would have declined. It is simply perfect as it is and although I firmly co-sign on Mark’s ability to multiply and enlarge beauty, I would encourage him to sit this one out. With but a glance, I am invited to the sacred. In my younger days, Central Baptist was housed on Lee Street. Although the church has moved, I still hear her whisper life as the old steeple stands sentinel over my home. All my life has been sprinkled with steeples and spires. So much so, I have become anaesthetized to them. I almost went to sleep on the one who rings out the new day as I go about making waffles and coffee. Almost. If you have been down Lee Street recently the Central steeple has probably called you from a slumber too. The steeple is requiring scaffolding. Someone, who I have yet to spot, is doing something involving the steeple. I am not real comfortable with it. My hope is some diligent soul has taken on the work of making the steeple stronger. I know I need it to continue in its reign. It keeps my eyes lifted upward.

Here is something you can bet on: I will absolutely lie awake wondering exactly why steeples are on churches. Precisely, how does a steeple differ from a spire? If steeple and spire were to get into a street brawl, who would win? Haughty steeples call themselves spires. Here’s the church, here’s the steeple……and on and on. At some point, my sleeping pill is going to kick in and say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I got to get to work.” I will wake up the next day with the hangover of a late-night brainstorm. This particular hangover led me to do a little research. I found out several little nuggets while investigating. First, if you can figure out how a steeple differs from a spire, go post it on Google because there is no consensus. I am putting my money on steeple to win the street brawl though. Second, steeples are a proven classic, probably coming over with the early settlers. Third, it was not unusual that steeples would hold a light of sorts, offering a much-needed beacon for the lost. Fourth, keeping accurate time was notoriously difficult. I have heard two stories on why this fact is relevant. The steeple itself would serve as a sundial of sorts, its shadow hinting at the time. Steeples also held bells, and their ringing would tell the villagers the time, often calling them to worship. The holy held time.

Holding time is a mighty, mighty task. It is not for our puny hands. How many times have we lamented over our inability to control time? No doubt God hears and holds every “what if today is the day,” “if I’d only known,” “if I had it to do over,” “had I seen it coming,” “please hurry up,” “oh please slow down,” and so many more. Truth is, we couldn’t live under the pressure of knowing more, it is a sweet gift to be powerless over time.  What would we do if we knew we were going to meet our husband for the first time today? What if we knew this is the last hug? What if we knew next month would bring sweet relief? What if we knew we would fight danger for our life on Thursday night? What if we knew the minute the joy would invade every cell? What if we knew there would be a new face at the Thanksgiving table next year? What would we do? I know this, it would not be good. I am satisfied with God reigning.

Steeples. I need them. My focus needs its Message. I need something proven True. I most certainly need a Light to shine me in the right direction. I need the Joy to ring out and fill my moments with its soundtrack.  Time is still notoriously difficult to measure.  I will never be able to do such. I am not made for such a task. Neither are you. Never failing, He has time precisely measured.  Our regrets, our hopes, our unfulfilled desires, devastations we never realized, our perfect firsts, our hallowed lasts, they are held tenderly, right in the center of His heart. He cherishes each second of our lives and he treats them all as precious. Yes indeed, the Holy still holds time.