The chill rhythm of fall in the Jackson household has come to an abrupt end. I tried to savor having dinner at home, as a family, most nights Monday through Thursday. I tried to appreciate that it was the last such season with all three boys at home, but I’m still feeling like I’ve been whacked in the head by our new schedule, or I guess it could be an actual concussion. Either way, basketball games and swim meets are in full swing again.
On Tuesday Sam had a game at 4:30, and Nate had two games, the first of which started at 6:30. Will was traveling for work, but my plan was to attend all three games. The problem was that at half-time in the first game I crossed the hall to watch Dub swim for a few minutes. The windows are a floor above the pool and it is a lovely angle to watch my now-adult son glide through the water. I smiled to myself with pride, Sam’s team was beating their crosstown rival, Dub was working hard, and Nate was getting ready to warm up with the varsity team.
Sadly, I forgot that I was standing next to a cement pillar about two feet in diameter, and decided to use the bathroom before going back to Sam’s game. I must have some serious pedestrian get up and go, because when I turned and began walking I smashed into the cement pillar with astounding force. The impact was brutal. I know there’s surveillance video that would be utterly hilarious and award-winning. I was not looking at my phone or doing anything distracting, but somehow I never saw the pillar. I rammed it so hard that I thought someone had hit me across the face with a 2×4, someone big and strong and homicidal. I was certain my nose was broken, that blood would begin gushing. It did not. Even though there were lots of people in the building for various events, no one seemed to notice.
I marched my sorry butt to the bathroom to inspect the damage. Honestly it shook my head so hard that I had the sensation that my teeth might be loose. Miraculously there was no visible damage. How was that possible? I still have a headache from it, so maybe it’s a mild concussion, but I’m honestly just grateful that my teeth haven’t fallen out and that I don’t have two black eyes.
Beginning Sunday the slew of basketball games and swim meets takes a 6 day hiatus for Thanksgiving. I am ecstatic for some downtime with my four favorite guys. Although it may not at first seem related, I read the whole book of Ecclesiastes the other day. It’s not long, but I’m not sure I’ve read it in one sitting before. You probably know how it begins. It opens with “vanity of vanities” and with the familiar “there is nothing new under the sun.” Then there is the part about a time for everything that is also frequently quoted. Less well-known is a verse near the end.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13
You may have had a blissfully calm week, or you may have run around like a chicken and smashed into a cement pillar, like me. You may have had nothing but good news, or one discouraging event after another. As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, it’s all been heard. The end of the matter is the same: Fear God and keep His commandments, this is my whole duty and yours too. I hope this Thanksgiving week is a week of keeping it simple and giving thanks.