Short or Long?

My 6 year old daughter has been learning the concept of time. “How long will it take to get there?” she’ll ask. My answer, “Oh about thirty minutes.” “Daddy, is that short or long?”

I never know how to answer that. Depending on what you’re doing, that’s a really short time or a really long time. 30 minutes is a long time to sit at a stop light, but a really short time to pay a mortgage. For a 6 year old stuck in a car seat, it can be really long.

One thing we encourage our girls to do when we’re driving is to enjoy the scenery. Right now is harvest time, and they love checking out the big tractors and talking about corn and soybeans, or animals that they see, or whatever. Sometimes that passes the time for them.

Like our car rides, the summer of 2011 lasted forever for me. We were behind on our bills, business was slow, and we were having trouble with our day-to-day obligations. It was a slow, painful ride that I don’t want to do again anytime soon.

One particularly difficult weekend that summer, a friend brought us some food to help us out. I had found a forgotten box of pancake mix in the cupboard, and she just happened to slip some fresh blueberries in with the rest of the groceries.

As we ate our blueberry pancakes that night, I had a chance to stop and enjoy the scenery. And we made it through the summer.

2 Replies to “Short or Long?”

  1. This is exactly how I’m feeling right now, going through our job-loss situation. Is it going to be a long time or short time? Some days, I do really well at appreciating the scenery—the extra family time, the cozy house (my parents’), time with my brother and parents, less housework, etc—but then other times, I am nearly suffocated by “what’s next” and “what if it sucks even more than this does”. This post was encouraging because you’re writing with a view on the past. Eventually, I will be able to do the same thing with our situation.

    1. Thanks Fae, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t want to diminish the struggles we have, but I think God sent that moment for me to show me that there’s more in life than just struggle, and to give me enough encouragement to pick up and keep going forward. I have a lot more to share, can’t wait to get into it, but our story is far from over. Someone once told me that I’d always be either in trouble, going into trouble, or getting out of trouble, and if that’s the case, I figure I really do need to start learning to check out the scenery along the way!

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