I wish I was 10 years old again, walking down the road with my best friend Steve - the pockets of our cut-off shorts full of change - to Emmas (or was it Emily's? I forget - it was 35 years ago!) to buy a wrinkly, brown paper bag full of Bit-O-Honeys and Milky Way candy bars.
Emmas was a little hole-in-the-wall store down the road from my friends summer cabin on Lake Pulaski, up in central Minnesota. To us, Emma must have been close to 100 years old (she was probably 40!). We would stand there in the cool shade of her dimly lit store, pointing to the shelves of candy behind her. Um... lets see... Ill take some of those... and some of those... until all our dimes and nickels were spent.
Then wed walk the quarter mile back to the cabin in our bare feet on the hot blacktop road. We would run up the stairs to the one-room attic bedroom, kick back on our beds, reading comic books and making ourselves sick on too much pop and chocolate (well, ONE time we made ourselves sick on too much beer we had snuck from our parents... but that was a few years later! (Dont tell them!!!)).
And then, after a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a plate full of chips for lunch, wed go down to the dock, pour some gas into the 25-horse outboard motor of the beat up old aluminum boat, and do a little water skiing.
Ah! A perfect summer day!
Of course, back when I was 10, Emma would just exasperatedly - and very slowly - retrieve our goodies from the shelves. She wouldnt have said, That wouldnt be good for your cholesterol! or, Better cut back on all those sweets. And, when we got back to the cabin, there wouldnt be a houseful of kids poking at each other, and saying, Daddy, were BORED! There would be no bag full of drugs to take, no bathtub about ready to fall through the kitchen ceiling because the floor above is saturated by a leak we cant quite pinpoint. No trying to come up with yet another dinner that is both low-fat AND tastes good (is there such a thing?).
Multiple myeloma would still be a foreign concept.
Today is almost just as good.
Sure, it is a little more complicated! But the sun is shining just as bright, the leaves are just as green, the world is no less wonderful.
The warmth of Gods love hasnt dimmed one bit.
And, you know, maybe today is even better. Because today I know that God is greater than a whole bunch of difficulties I had no inkling of back when I was 10.
I know that God is with me, and that makes all the difference.