There is a certain symmetry to life, despite the moments of what may seem like chaos, when I look at things with a ‘big picture’ kind of view even the chaos falls into place.
The trip to Canada had its moments of chaos even before we had begun our travels. Being a Canadian living in Germany, I was unaware of the change of travel rules that now require dual passport holders to travel into Canada with both passports. This issue occupied a huge problem for us as a family as one of our Canadian passports had expired and the time frame for getting a new passport was far shorter than if we actually lived in Canada. We the help of the friendly consulate staff in the Munich office we were able to get a Temporary Passport. Even with the fact of having to personally drop-off the application, and personally receive the Temporary Passport there was much relief once the passport was in hand just a few days prior to our departure. The nervous chaos seems a distant memory which has had its rough edges smoothed over with the passage of time, like that of a river smoothing a rock.
Time has a way of smoothing over a lot of things.
Once in Canada we had arrived in time for my Grandmother’s funeral. With many people beyond that of family involved in the service at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, there was so much potential for chaos; however, the funeral was conducted expertly, and even the horse drawn hurst was able to make it through the busy downtown streets.
Over the next few days, many of the family set their energy and attention towards the wedding of my sister. The wedding and reception, each beautiful occasions, which mark the beginning of a life together for my sister and her husband. In the moments of planning and preparation it is sometimes difficult to see out of the chaos to a tranquil outcome, but as time has passed, the outcome certainly was romantic and serene.
In a small way, the activities in Vancouver came full circle, as one long marriage ended due to death, another marriage has just begun. While the preacher at the funeral spoke powerfully and meaningfully to the gathered congregation, the same priest was also the last person to conduct a wedding in the Anglican church in which the marriage was held. A mentor and friend at both the end and the beginning of these important acts of worship which punctuate the flow of life.
During our very short time spent trying to see friends and acquaintances in Victoria, everything worked out as well as could be considering the spontaneity of much of the planning and the coordination of many people.
The flight home to Germany felt like the completion of one great loop across the map that burned brightly on the airplane navigational display. The chaos of luggage loaded, passengers seated, and meals served, all translated, in the big picture, to a pleasant flight. The chaos of life, with a little perspective, is not so unlike that rough stone which over time is smoothed down to a river rock. The chaos of an aged life, and indeed a new life together, is also smoothed down and refined.
God has a way of smoothing over a lot of things.