Have you seen the latest trend in tattoos flying around social media? It’s a fork. Yes, the eating utensil. No additional wording or detail, just a fork. The moment I saw it, I knew exactly what it was. I had heard the story behind the fork. In fact, it was one of the first devotionals I ever wrote myself (not plagiarized from a little devotional book) nearly 10 years ago. If you’ve heard the story of the fork, you know exactly where I’m going. If this is your first time hearing it, you will never forget it.
The story goes like this: A woman who was nearing death requested that she be buried with a fork in her hand. A fork? How strange. Why would anyone want to be buried with a fork? She went on to share that her favorite moment after eating a big meal was when someone would say, ‘hold on to your fork’. What did that mean? That meant dessert was on its way. That meant the best was yet to come. And when the best is yet to come, you hold on to your fork.
The best is yet to come. That’s exciting. But does anyone else have an ache in their heart that feels like the best has already passed?
I’m going to be completely honest with you, there’s one place I don’t like to be at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. That’s in the school zone in front of the elementary school. The speed limit is 20, cars are backed up for blocks, and the police there aren’t playing. But it’s not the slow traffic that bothers me. What absolutely slays me is to see all those mamas sitting in their cars, waiting for their little backpack wearing ball of energy to come bouncing out of the school and jump in to go home.
You know why it slays me? Because it used to be me. I used to be that mom picking up kids from school. I used to be that mom hearing all about their day and rushing home to get them their after school snack. And now, it’s not me. My babies are all grown. That time in my life is over. And dang, do I wish I could have it back.
Looking back, I would say those were the best days of my life. I didn’t know it then, but those were the good ol’ days. Isn’t it funny how when you’re living the good ‘ol days, they just feel like long ordinary days.
There’s a song by Macklemore called Good Ol’ Days. They lyrics hit hard. It says:
Never thought we’d get old, maybe we’re still young
Maybe we always look back and think it was better than it was
Maybe these are the moments
Maybe I’ve been missing what it’s about
Been scared of the future, thinking about the past
While missing out on now
You don’t know, what you’ve got
Till it goes, till it’s gone
I wish somebody would have told me
Some day, these will be the good old days
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days
What are your good ol’ days? Do you have a mountaintop season where you were at your peak, and now it’s over and you’re left wondering if it will ever be that good again? Looking back it creates a longing within your soul that kinda aches, doesn’t it? You know you can’t go back. You know it will never be the same again. Yeah, me too.
But, Sis, hold on to your fork! We haven’t seen the best yet. We haven’t seen anything even close to the best yet! As the daughters of God and followers of Jesus Christ, we are promised the best is yet to come.
1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him.” Dream up all you could possibly imagine eternity in paradise to be, and God says, “No, bigger! No, even more! No, even better!” Girls, that’s what we have waiting for us. The best is yet to come. Hold on to your fork!
I remember sitting with my 67 year old Daddy on his final day of life when the veil between Heaven and Earth had grown so thin. In complete awareness, he could see into Heaven. He could see glimpses of what is waiting for us on the other side beyond this life. And Daddy would laugh. Deep, deep belly laughs. Then he said to me, “Everyone is so happy here. Jesus is so funny.” Then he would laugh more.
And for my Daddy, laughing was the most important thing. He was a jokster. He was always laughing and making other people laugh. For his first glimpse into Heaven to reveal laughter, he found the best was waiting for him and there was absolutely no fear in going.
I’ve heard stories of people who have experienced a moment in Heaven, then returned to finish living this life. They talk about seeing colors they had never seen before. Beauty their human eyes could never even hold. Oh, there is sooooo much more waiting for us. More than our eyes have ever seen, more than our ears have ever heard, more than our mind could ever dare to think or imagine. And as long as we have placed our faith in Jesus, we have a ticket there!
Sis, do you have your ticket? Hold on to your fork!
Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
What does this mean? It means to live in an awareness that this life is short. Our time here is limited. Make each day count. And hold on to your fork! Why does holding on to your fork apply here? Because gaining a heart of wisdom means seeing our life as God sees our life. How does God see our life? Through an eternal perspective!
I often number my days. I track how many days of life I’ve lived. Today is day #17,564 for me. (Find your number at daysold.com) Only God knows how many days in this life I have been allotted, but he has asked me to live each one fully. He’s asked me to remember through it all that this is temporary and my soul is here for eternal purposes.
Today, I’m one day closer to using that fork for something so great I can’t even imagine it! The best is on it’s way for me. That’s nothing to dread!
This is what a heart of wisdom gained through numbering my days now knows. This is all temporary, but it’s all leading to eternity. Handle this with tremendous care, but keep the perspective that the best is yet to come.
I drive by that elementary school and I see all those mamas sitting in their cars, waiting for their little people to come running out, and my heart wishes I could go back. But then I remember, I’ve got a fork in my hand! I don’t have to regret what has passed. Honey, the appetizer is long gone, and that’s okay. Whatever it is I have right now, I should enjoy it. I should linger in it. I should savor it. Because guess what … the day may come when I’m in between plates that I will miss what I have today. I will wish for this back. Today will become a good ol’ day. So, I can’t waste this.
But when this plate is done, and I’m sitting and waiting, I will remember to hold on to my fork. Why? Because I know the best is yet to come. Things I can’t even imagine are going to be served and I hold the ticket for dessert!
My sister, if you hold the ticket for dessert, you have absolutely nothing to fear. God is real and Heaven is ridiculously good. It’s a literal paradise, and it will never, ever end.
If you’re not sure you have your ticket for dessert and you feel like you may have lost your fork, may I talk to Jesus with you and get this squared away?