Joni Mitchell wrote the song of my generation, “Woodstock,” and it goes like this:
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going?
And this he told me:
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m gonna join in a rock ’n’ roll band. …
Then can I walk beside you?
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning. …
Yasgur’s farm wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and it rained for three days on the rock ’n’ roll bands. Nevertheless, I like the image of one soul meeting another on his travels and agreeing to walk together down the road a piece. The road is not so long, after all, and it is good to have some company.
Paul the apostle knew the brevity of the journey, and I believe it was his secret to contentment and giving up all things with equanimity. He considered his life worth nothing to himself if only he might complete his little assignment (Acts 20:24). He wanted you and me to have the same perspective:
“… the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
For 30 years I was single, then married for 19, then single for 14, and now I am married again. I love these words of Paul, for they set me free. Anything can be put up with, anything endured, for a short time. And all times are short times. If singleness is a sorrow, keep in mind that it’s a temporary one. If marriage is a sorrow, keep in mind that it’s a temporary one. If marriage is a joy, remember that that’s temporary, too. Make the most of every situation. In other words, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
“Then can I walk beside you?” said the man on the road. “And if I have some habits that annoy you, hey, it’s only for a short time, after all.”