Recently, I’ve been anchored to my chair and consumed—fanatical—about transferring VHS video tapes to Windows Media Player files, or at least a format compatible with most computers. It’s a small piece of my unquenchable quest to de-clutter our home while preserving for our family. I’ve laughed hysterically, cried and grieved over loved ones, witnessed grandchildren sprout before my eyes, and even listened to unbelievable rhetoric and bantering between family members. Observing reel to reel life as a spectator, watching yesterdays pass by with an occasional snowy interlude.
A preservation project like this demands diligence, determination, and fortitude not found in the majority—a grinding test of character. Trust me! It requires vision beyond the immediate and meticulous detail, both which will probably go unnoticed by the recipients.
Hours and hours viewing 15-20 year-old home videos. Tedious beyond words. Over and over I’ve asked the Lord, “Is this really worth it?” The repeated answer “yes,” so I persevere and trust the Lord to work out the future details of it all. To date over 100 video clips transferred to external drives, waiting for further editing.
Even though you might have thought by now, I’d expound upon the transfer or editing processes, your speculations mistaken. Joseph Parker’s (1830-1902) quote below captured my attention during one morning’s devotional reading. An English nonconformist Congregational minister and prolific published writer, his writings seem to be a no nonsense, lay it all on the line style of writing.
If you carefully read Parker’s insights concerning detail, time, and relying upon the Lord, maybe you’ll understand why I keep asking the Lord, “You really want me to continue to capture bits and pieces of reel to reel life for our family?”
How much we lose by frittering away our time by a frivolous divisions into parts, and minor parts, and major parts. Thus we are vexed by detail, exceedingly torments, and our minds are clouded, and the horizon is shut out, and we are victims of little views and small conceptions and narrow prejudices. Why do we live in the valley when we might live on the hilltop? The higher we ascend the more distant is the view. There is poetry in distance, there is music in the horizon; but who can find anything in smoke and cloud and fog but depression and fear, and loss of those high enthusiasms that ought to rule life.
Climb any hill that you can get your feet upon; it is good to be much in the upper air. It is when we have been most in heaven that we can most effectually and successfully handle the affairs of time. All depends upon the point of approach; if we approach the work from below it will be all uphill toil. If we descend upon it from communion with God, we shall bring the whole stress of our strength to bear upon it, and a touch will have in it the force of a battering-ram.
Why all this toiling, and upheaval, and struggling, and strenuous endeavor, when life might be made a joy; when life might be made to grow the flower of peace and the fruit of plenty, and the whole action might be a movement of triumph?
I pray to know the Lord more clearly, to follow Him more steadfastly, to serve Him more obediently. This is the Lord’s prayer, one of unselfishness. I pray this prayer, as all others, that are true and honest, at the Cross, the great altar, the blessed mercy seat. It is here prayer is its own answer and is turned to praise. The intercession of Christ magnifies our requests and assures their fulfillment according to the wisdom and tenderness of Jehovah God.
To see the invisible is to live; to lay hold of the eternal is to be safe for evermore.”
Without Christ, this reel to reel endeavor futile. Without Him, I’ve cut up my parts of time without purpose. Without living in the upper air, I would suffocate with the detail below.
As time seems to have lengthened these past few days, I’ve seen joys—treasured joys and blessings—pass by these blurry eyes. So I’ll just keep re-winding and fast forwarding that magnetic tape, reelin’ and lurchin’ my way to Christ’s movement of triumph for our family’s real history of yesterdays.
Oh the sweet embrace of yesterdays, and the blessed hope of tomorrows.