Came home exhausted this morning… last night was brutal enough to send me to my bed immediately upon my arrival home. In fact, I am sure that I was actually asleep before my head hit the pillow, as my last conscious recollection was sliding silently next to my sleeping wife in our bed.
I awakened a few hours later, my wife announcing that it was nearing the time we had arranged to meet with the Jones Family at their home near the pastoral community of Starrville… the rambling country home of my old friend Randon, his wife and three children. He and I both work long hours, so the responsibility for arranging this get-together fell upon our wives… a task suited to their sociable natures.
However, immediately upon arriving, I realized a certain logistics anomaly that had not occurred to me prior to our arrival… the simple fact that, just by visiting my old friend, I was immediately doubling the number of children that would be under his roof.
Fortunately, it is a good-sized home and situated out in the deep woods. Plenty of room to roam about and enough privacy for children to run wild without getting into too much trouble.
Two attributes I can certainly appreciate.
Sitting down and talking with Randon, I have to admit, was strange. We had been very close friends in our youth, but now we are men. Much of the idle and silly trifles that occupied our time had long since been replaced by weightier matters. Of course, this is not to say that we have become dour or humorless in our “old age” as we were each quick to goad the other into laughter by some quip or subtle side-reference.
I cannot help wonder at what it was like for him… the young man he last saw was a wild and blasphemous creature, raging and prodigal. Caring little for the future and only a little more for the present. A foul-mouthed atheist and hedonist. I cannot imagine what it was like for him to hear me speak with a bearing that surely runs counter to the person he knew in time long-forgotten.
We each talked of different aspects of the time that had passed between us. Too much has passed to bring everything up-to-date, so it was mostly an exchange of episodic monologues and anecdote. I saw much more of the time that had passed in his face than I was able to glean from his words in only a handful of hours. I hope that there will be more time to come, in which we can each learn more about the other.
As with the festivities of the earlier part of the day, the hours of our evening soon ran short… it was time for me to prepare for work, and for our children to adjourn to their beds. With the LORD’s Day upon the ‘morrow, they would need their rest.
We departed and bid fond adieus. I felt an old friendship had been renewed… as a fire built upon the ashes of flames long gone out, but blazing with the heat of fresh kindling.