“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:1-2, NKJV).

Sensing time as it is and our relation to it is a dilemma we seem unable to solve. As various calendars exist elsewhere and are used by those various people, time seems a bit relative. Depending on where one is standing, time divides not just the day but also our perception of it and our place in it, unless you use the atomic clock which only loses seconds every few billion years.

Turning 30 is a relative moment in time. At 29 years, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds, time bathes us in endlessness. At 30, time knocks us over with its truth we are indeed running out of it. The realization has no relation to where we’re standing. One second life appears fresh and early, and the next, foreboding, tyrannical, scarce, and time, very much an imposition.

Grace has its own calendar. When I first believed, really believed, all seemed light and fresh and early, as though time was on my side. But grace does not rest outside time or life, and innocence, stained by consternation’s onslaught, fades. Grace wished to move me into God’s shade, but I preferred seeking my own sun. I didn’t let God or grace do their work. I kept doing what I was doing and rather than looking to God, I mimicked fallible people.

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4, NKJV).

Where, then, was I going? Where was grace taking me?

I was on the way to hagah. Where? Well, it’s more like when. Hagah is a Hebrew word meaning to meditate, but not in a passive or quiet way. This word entails thirst, real thirst like “get out of my way, I want everything I can get my hands on, I can’t get enough to drink” dehydration kind of thirst, day and night, never-ending thirst. Hagaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh thirst!

Before I could be hagah, God and grace emptied me, a most perfect means to make way for His word. When the Lord’s prayer says lead me not, the real message is lead me towards. God allowed me toward emptiness knowing I should turn thirsty only when I depleted my talking points. A friend tells me it’s better to volunteer to be on your knees before God puts you there.

If in the first hour of grace or the last, it mattered not. When empty, I turned thirsty.

Before then, life and time were fresh and early and plentiful. After, enough wasn’t enough, more needed more.

“With my soul, I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early…” (Isaiah 26:9, NKJV).

Hagaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!

“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at pgadeacon@gmail.com.

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