They Told You This Day Would Come by Sarah Spaur

They told you this day would come.

Those days seem now like a black-and-white episode of The Andy Griffith Show: peaceful, nearly perfect, and a little naive. Life then seemed to be a grand adventure, just begging you to embark upon it. For so long you waited anxiously, your fingers tapping impatiently every day as you longed to be just one year older, because for some reason the adventure only started when you aged. You lived carefree, trying to pass the days as quickly as possible; “right now” was boring, and the only thing that mattered was the future.

If only you could make it come sooner.

They told you this day would come.

Learning was a dreadful, wearisome task. For each day you spent in the classroom was one day you might instead be eating breakfast near the Eiffel Tower, or scouting out lunch in a busy, cobblestoned city in South America, or watching the sun plunge over a skyline featuring the Coliseum. The acquisition of the knowledge of grammar mattered only for one purpose: you in your enthusiastic youthfulness used to fashion stories out of mismatched words and outrageous strings of adjectives just for the mere exercise of imagining in yourself somewhere else.

If only you could be there sooner.

They told you this day would come.

This day, life ceased to be what you’d dreamed it would be. It could be that you missed your chance at Europe, but perhaps you merely realized just how lonely it would be to drink in a Mediterranean sunset all on your own. Yet the collision of two completely separate minds and wills is much more difficult than you knew. Companionship requires a great deal more than you fantasized. You may have thought that friendships would get easier as age springs triumphantly out of the mire of the teens. You were mistaken when you surmised that with maturity conflict would resolve more easily, communication would happen effortlessly, and everyone’s thoughts and emotions would live in harmony.

If only this day could have arrived a little later.

But they told you this day would come.

Today, you finally began to grasp the previously fleeting concept of reality that in the past you’d been content to tentatively let rest on your palm. Perhaps, you think, your anticipatory and overly-enthusiastic seizing was a little premature. You’ve not chosen an easy life, serving the Kingdom. Now that the implications of such a life has been made known if only in your mind’s eye, every step into the future becomes more daunting. Now you feel as though you are being tossed reluctantly into the very time you’d previously sprinted toward. If ignorance is bliss as they say, then the thoughts rolling around your head like marbles contain one in particular of which you are ashamed: you think perhaps the future might have been easier if you’d never met the phrase “God’s will.” Now that you have, you can’t run away without your conscience following persistently close behind. Maybe, you shamefully wonder, life was better before theology, for now you understand that God never promised that this life serving Him would be easy, or that you would always be happy, or even that it would invariably “be okay.” He has promised, however, that He is good. You’re still trying to wave away the fog of what that means for the future, the future into which you’ve so thoroughly invested your heart.

If only this day could have arrived a little later.

But they told you this day would come.

This day, you realized you’ve neglected your childhood hopes for the future, thinking reality was better anyway. Riches have rightfully faded in importance, but adventure and travel are still distant dreams. Maybe you’ll wake up from those dreams tomorrow and forget the yearning in your soul to be somewhere else.

Maybe, just maybe, it was good for this day to have come when it did.

Because they told you it would, didn’t they?

They told you that life isn’t always the way you dreamed it would be, and that people will always disappoint you. Your desires will pull you in every direction to fulfill them but leave you empty with nothing but scattered limbs, each pointing to every failed God-abandoned endeavor toward shallow happiness. The grass will appear greener in every other location, but in reality it is always greenest right here for the mere fact that it’s just where you happen to be standing. You’re not ready for this life to get hard, but it appears as though you don’t have a choice in the matter. The future is looming faster than you first thought; therefore, strive for the anticipatory perspective of those early years and hope relentlessly. Stand firm, dear friend, for though your glass-half-empty eyes might see only the haze of difficulty in this life, your theology turns out to be correct and God is good. And so, He promises, are His plans for your future.

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

–Proverbs 16:9

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One comment on “They Told You This Day Would Come by Sarah Spaur

  1. Janet Mills says:

    I love many of your lines and phrases in this piece, Sarah, but here is one of the best, IMHO: “The grass will appear greener in every other location, but in reality it is always greenest right here for the mere fact that it’s just where you happen to be standing.” We take so much for granted in this life. Sometimes we need to simply bloom where we are planted. Hugs!

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