Time is not my friend when I wake up one morning and realize that I am 40. Yes, two weeks ago along with the rest of the class of '89, I turned 40-I could have swore just yesterday I was walking from my house in Dawson City, YT to my Grandma's store on front street for some chocolate cake. Or that I was just lacing up my skates to play hockey on Askews Shopping hockey team...or in the BC triple A basketball finals...Where did time go? And how can I get it back!
As I thought of this blog I started to think about the 14 years of war that robbed all Liberians of precious time in their lives. Time that they could have been going to school...here is Hauwa, also 40 in a CLP class learning to read and write-for the first TIME:
Making up for lost time! (photo -joni byker)
But-the worst part of loosing 14 years to war was the time families lost with each other. Husbands and wives separated not knowing if one or the other was even alive. Children separated from their parents-time lost being loved, taught, cared for by their mother and father. I can't imagine Isaac and Felix being taken away from me for 14 years-or having to spend 14 years in an IDP camp with my 2 small boys-with no opportunity to go to school, nevermind not knowing where my husband was, my family or friends...
Living life together for the rest of time! (photo joni byker)
I wish that I could give the people of Liberia 14 free years-no one would age-everyone would have the opportunity to make up for lost time during the war. But it's not possible. In Liberia there is a saying "God's timing is best"-and I believe that with all my heart-even though I don't know why God allowed Liberia and it's people to loose 14 years to war and suffering-I know His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts-He is God!
I do believe that God has allowed SP to be here for this critical time in Liberian history. Although we started small -God's timing has been best-and SP has had the opportunity to 'make up for lost time' for many Liberians involved in our projects. We can't give them back 14 years of their lives, but we can help them now, at this moment to make the most of their time, to make the most of their lives. Over time we have seen women learn to read and write, fish ponds being built, rice planted, access to clean water and sanitation, people suffering from HIV/AIDS getting help, health lessons taught and we have seen people know the amazingness of God's love that knows no time-it has always been and always will be.
Time. You can't escape it. So the questions remains-what do you do with your time? Here is a great quote I found on time and how when not used for a purpose can rob us of opportunities.
" There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: TIME."-Napoleon I-1815
People often ask me how I find time (which is funny as time can not be "found"-it's always there!) to work, mother, run, study, cook, blah, blah...I tell them I manage my time very carefully! If I have free time I make sure I am making good use of it-even if that means going to bed a little earlier and spending more time resting so I can face the next day ready for all that it will throw at me. I can't imagine loosing 14 years of time to something I had no control over...something that robbed me of my safety, my job, my education, my family...
I am thankful that God has chosen this time for me to be in Liberia-once again this has forced me to take my eyes off myself-and not worry about the time I loose or that fact that I am 40...ugh. Instead it has forced me to look around at those who lost so much-but most of all who lost so much time to live a normal life. As my training increases I am more and more aware of time-not so much on the time of my runs-but the time I have here in Liberia- to spend time with those that time did not wait for- for 14 long, terrible years...