Friday, March 13, 2009

Expiration Date

I went to the dentist the other day, and while the receptionist and I were chatting, she asked if I wanted to set up another cleaning appointment in six months. "No," I told her, "I won't be living here in six months." "Oh really?" she replied, with just the right amount of calculated politeness so as to appear interested. She had no doubt perfected this art after years of similar interactions, and I responded in kind. "Yeah, we're moving to Oklahoma."

We've known since last fall that we would be moving this coming summer, but for the longest time, including even now, it has seemed like a vague date on the horizon. An event that would happen someday. But when a date on the horizon attaches itself to a tangible concept, like the date of a dentist appointment, it becomes just a little more real.

Here's an example: we buy lots of yogurt. At the store, we try to choose yogurt cups with dates that are far off--often about a month down the line. And standing in the chilly dairy aisle, the expiration dates seem so distant it's as if the yogurt will last forever. But inevitably the dates draw nearer, and as I peek into my fridge now, I see dates looming ever closer and closer that once seemed so distant.

All this isn't to say that inevitability is a bad thing. It's just a different way of looking at it. We don't know when we will start packing our stuff, or loading the truck, or actually waving good-bye to our place here in Saint Paul, but it's coming whether we realize it or not. The nice thing is that we still do have lots of time up here, and as I pray on a daily basis, I want to make good use of it.

So here's to life. :) Time to go snag a yogurt...

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