1969. Belton, Missouri. I was in the Air Force stationed at Richards-Gebaur air base, just outside Kansas City. Peggy and I lived in a small trailer in a cozy trailer park about a mile from the base.
There was a little old man who lived across the street from us named Mr. Katz. He was a friendly guy who always greeted us with a wave and a smile. One afternoon as he was doing gardening in his little patch of beautiful flowers, he put down his spade and came over to talk. Among the small trailer-talk, he said something to us we’ve remembered and thought about over the last 49 years. I can still remember the look in his eyes as he spoke, it was a look of knowing, a look of aged wisdom with an almost-hidden smile.
He said, “It’s going to go by really fast. I remember when we were about your age, and it’s gone by really fast.”
Peggy and I looked at each other, 18 and 19 years old, and smiled. We had our whole lives ahead of us, and life seemed to be moving pretty slow. It seemed like forever until I would get out of the Air Force, it seemed like forever until I would graduate from college, it seemed like forever until we could move to Carson City and plant a church.
Over the years since that afternoon in the trailer park, Peggy and I have said to one another numerous times, “Mr. Katz was right.”
A few weeks ago we celebrated Christmas morning at our house. We were surrounded by our three sons, their precious wives, nine grandchildren, and three of the four great-grandchildren. What a blessing. I can’t tell you the thankfulness to God that overflows our hearts.
After everyone had left and headed home, Peggy and I looked at each other, 68 and 67 years old, and smiled. I said, “Mr. Katz was right.”
Walk closely with Jesus. Live each day well.
Louis J. Locke is the founding pastor of Fountainhead Foursquare Church, www.ffccarson.org.