When Martin Luther was asked what he would do if he was told that Judgment Day was coming tomorrow, his legendary reply was, “I’d plant an apple tree.” Scholars aren’t sure that Luther actually uttered those words, but one thing’s for sure: No matter what tomorrow looks like, there’s reason to live hopefully—for the long-term. My version of that interchange might go something like this:
YOU: Bob, it feels like the world is coming to an end. What are you going to do?
ME: I already bought next year’s calendars.
YOU: No apple tree?
ME: Too much work!
I’ve now purchased the usual assortment of calendars for the coming year. One features the California Sierra scenery around Mono Lake. A small, hard-bound Moleskine Daily Planner. The necessary refrigerator monthly calendar. Each with its own usefulness, but all of them saying the same thing: There will be another year—filled with 365 days that the Lord hath made—and reminding me that I will rejoice and be glad in them!
My office bookshelves hold datebooks and journals that go back awhile. They invite me to play around inside of past/present/future simultaneously. At any moment I can pull out one of them and revisit my life’s path so far—one way to imagine how God will travel alongside me in the days to come. No matter how dire the future might look.
During autumn I like to page through the present year’s calendars, as a kind of prayer of thanks for all that’s transpired during these months. To remember the blessings and the challenges, the adventures and the ordinary stuff. The people in my life.
Whatever the coming year brings, now I’ll have calendars to remind me about God’s providence!
No need for apple trees….