Mrs. Lot Takes A Walk
Sabbath Thoughts April 28 – “Mrs. Lot Takes a Walk”
This beautiful, sunny slightly-cool afternoon I took a break from working on my new book. When I get stuck in writing, it helps to get outside, to see the sky. I ended up walking in a place where Bill and I spent 23 years of our lives, raising our five children, developing our publishing and writing. I walked past our old house, smiling at the thought that the new owners are oblivious to the fact that the best cat ever to walk the earth, Spooky, is buried near their wood pile. No matter.
I walked on, happy to see our same basketball hoop out front, getting used by another family. My book deals with embracing where you are and growing from that place. To be honest, I’m finding it hard to grow from this place. The place of when you visit a doctor and he or she says, “At your age…” or when my mailbox is flooded with materials for senior citizens. It would be easy to hide in this place; to begin to believe that live is Oversville; to live for the grandkid moments and Bill-and-me trips. And today the longer I walked my old familiar paths, the more nostalgic I became—longing for my children, for how things were. Yes, even for all the work, the responsibility, the intense aliveness that consumes one in parenting. And there is no escaping the adrenaline—the exhaustion and worry, too. All of it: wonderful.
How did it all change so fast? Peter Medawar writes, “Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in. Fear and resentment of what is new is really a lament for the memories of our childhood.”
Lament. Not a very productive emotion. I know enough of life to know that it’s essential to grieve losses to let them go. It’s part of the struggle and work of life. Scripture tells us to forget what is past, to press on. To walk in the new thing that God is doing, not be consumed by the old.
I walked up one steep hill, assaulted by the memories: Andy worked in the snack shack I just passed. Jon life-guarded at this pool; Eric worked on this golf course; Chris worked on the other golf course. Amy learned to ride her bike in this cul-de-sac. I suddenly thought of Lot’s wife, of all things. When he was told by the angel to get out of Sodom, that it was about to be destroyed, he left, urging his wife and children to follow. But what did Lot’s wife do? She looked back, and turned into a pillar of salt.
So today on my lovely Sabbath walk, I quoted Jesus’ words to myself: “While you’re doing all you’re remembering… ‘Remember Lot’s wife’!” Remembering the good is lovely, but it can also be painful, because it is a reminder of days that are over. Living in the past can harden us; calcify us. I don’t want to do that. I want to stay fresh—willing to change, to learn. To be engaged wherever it is that God will put me.