Wet Concrete

I was passing by a home that had just recently had their driveway re-concreted.  Time and Yazoo clay had done their parts to destroy the old driveway, and so they had a new one put down.  I have seen concrete work where they put up a sign saying, “Please do not write or walk on the concrete,” but most of the time it seems as though you might as well put up a neon sign saying, “Come put your initials here,” or “Leave your handprint here.”  That is what caught my attention about the new concrete driveway.  Some people, I don’t know who, had come and left various expressions and imprints in the concrete so that years later they would be solidified and you could come by there and see who loved who and who left their initials and footprints in the concrete.  I suppose to make sure that nothing takes place somebody would have to stand out there guarding it, otherwise folks with a mischievous eye want to get in on leaving their mark. 

Wet concrete is kind of a picture of the transitional moments in life.  Transitional times always are filled with fresh ideas and opportunities both to remember and to grasp pieces of the structure of life.  For instance, graduation is a great wet concrete kind of moment.  A new job, a new location, marriage, the birth of a child, all are major significant moments and there are many others that are change moments in your life that you can pause and remember and project many significant things in the future.  Look around at your own situation and you will probably see some of those transitional events in life that are wet concrete kind of moments of which you can make the most. 

When people write things in the concrete or leave an impression, it is interesting that probably most of the time they are looking at the past, or maybe the present that is soon going to be the past.  That’s not a bad thing – to remember the past and to give thanks to God for the past.  I recently saw on a sidewalk one of those past memories written by an unidentified person but a very clear place and past and time identification.  It said, “Grateful to be home from Iraq.”  I could not help but stop and stare at it for just a moment.  “Grateful to be home from Iraq.”  I wondered who wrote that, and I wondered how many could have written it.  I thought about those who never got home from Iraq or some other battle.  For sure, it is a wonderful thing for us to stop and make note of the significant etchings in the wet concrete of life and how thankful we are for the blessings that God has poured out upon our lives. 

Then the present captures the attention of most of us who are going to write something and especially most of the time when they’re put in concrete, more often than any other thing that I have ever witnessed, is so-and-so loves so and so.  It could be a puppy love experience or it could be the love of their life, but there it is, scraped into the concrete only to be removed by being blasted away.  A present moment that may affect all the rest of your moments.  There are many of those in life that we don’t stop and celebrate or take time to grieve.  For some of those moments are losses.  Some of those moments may involve the death of someone cherished by us.  Some of those moments are just the kind of moments that you, as well as writing in the concrete, could stand on top of the house and celebrate the good things God has given you in your life. 

It’s not a bad thing to make those indelibly not only in our minds but in the depths of our heart.  Why?  You need to remember those glorious things God does for you and you have the privilege of experiencing.  There may be a difficult time that comes, and you can draw on the resources of “boy, weren’t those great days.”  So even as today comes and goes, you may recognize that there is a major changing moment in your life that is in process or maybe it’s a small thing that is moving along that you could stop and be thankful for or you could anchor down in concrete the glorious work of our great God.  I am not encouraging you to go venturing off onto somebody else’s driveway or property and write your initials, I am asking you to think about letting God etch unchangeably the good things He has done in your life, putting them there at the center of your memory and your heart-felt need, your heart-felt emotion. 

The author can be contacted at directions@mbcb.org.

Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer