We Go Way Back…

At school, we were standing around one day chatting.  The conversation led to what we call in my circles, ‘Dutch Bingo.’  When we were finished, a colleague and I had established that in the distant past we had shared common schools, a common friend and similar experiences.  We discovered that we go ‘way back.’

Perhaps others in the group, excluded from this particular thread of way-backness, were rolling their eyes.  There he goes again with another reminisce about the old days… and.. I will admit that I do this.  I do this with my students, colleagues and at home.  Too much probably.  They might say I’m living in the past.  It’s time to move on.  It’s time, to look to the future!   Perhaps.  Maybe it’s my impending retirement that is leading to all this silly ‘way back’ reflection.

Awhile ago, I was talking with a young couple at church.  We go way back … to about last spring.  We were swapping travel stories.  The wife had some anxiety about travelling alone to an out-of-town convention, the first time for her.  We talked about the details. I offered  encouragement.  She told me that friends of her parents from ‘way back,’  live in the same town in which the convention was being held.  They would be picking her up from the airport, taking her out for dinner and taking care of transportation for her while she was there.  No worries. “Isn’t God amazing at how he works things out!” she said. Yep, that’s right.

We all have ‘way back’ people in our lives, some good, some not.  We can’t help it.  Sometimes we go ‘way back’ with people we don’t really care about, perhaps someone who caused us pain.  Our ‘way back’ people don’t always make easy memories, but they’re there whether we like it or not.

Playing a one-way game of ‘Israel Bingo,’ God reminded Jeremiah that they go ‘way back.’  “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)  

Me and God? We go way back, too. Like Jeremiah, we go way back before I was born, before I saw the light of day and before I knew that we went ‘way back.’  Yet, even so, long ago, God had holy plans for me.  He used the ‘way back’ people, places and events in my life and wove them together in some mysterious way to make those plans reality.

Maybe, all this reminiscing and living-in-the-past stuff is okay, to a point.  However, maybe the stories I need to share should have less to do with me and more to do with God.  That would make more sense. After all, we go ‘way back,’ you know.

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