As I am writing this, I am sitting in my office and it is 6:11 am on New Year’s Eve 2019. I just dropped off two of my sons at our local airport because they are flying out of town for a worship conference this weekend.
As I dropped them off, I did what I often do at this point in life. I started thinking about them and my other children like they were little and in need of me. But, so much has changed. Life really does go by and our children do grow up. It’s not a process we can stop, unfortunately and fortunately. It is unfortunate only because when they are small and in constant need of us as parents, there is a certain joy in that. Yes, it is exhausting and at times frustrating, especially when there are things you want to do and can’t get too. But none-the-less, when children are young, it is more of a blessing than anything else. They are with you 24/7 and depend on you for everything, from making sure they have food and shelter to getting them places and doing homework with them and answering their questions. Once, one of my boys asked me if water sinks. As I quickly started to answer him with a “no, don’t be silly, water can’t sink, it’s water”, I caught myself and thought for a moment, “well it is on the bottom of the pool and on the top of the pool, so I guess it does”.
That was a comical time and one of many that I have experienced with my children. Days that I now miss, when they were all home and I had control over just about everything they did. And now, I drop them off at airports and colleges and see them off to live their lives in various parts of the world. My how life changes, and it seems like it is in the blink of an eye, to use the phrase.
What was once a trip to the daycare or kindergarten is now a trip to Fort Benning GA for boot camp graduation or driving to Dulles Airport to see our daughter off to South Africa or for my wife and I to get on a plane to visit our son and daughter-in-law in Chicago, because the Army sent them there. My how life changes.
Well, all of those thoughts flashed before me this morning as I hugged my boys as they prepared to get on the airplane. And I couldn’t help but think about how fast time goes. But again, its good, mostly because it is God’s plan for us, and our children to grow up, to move away maybe, but to begin their own lives, certainly. But I do miss them being young and in need of me.
Now their need is different. Mostly their need is in knowing their father loves them and is available. And I think that is the way it is for most all of us. We don’t need our fathers like we once did, but just knowing we had them or that they are within a phones reach, is enough to keep us going. My father is growing older and doing so very quickly. He is also losing his memory to dementia, a terrible disease that causes the brain to forget much of what was so critical in life, such as the people you love. Just the other day I was at his house. As he came in to the kitchen, his kitchen that he had been in thousands of times, he said he was ready to go home. My sister-in-law looked at him and said, “this is your kitchen, in your house”, to which dad responded, “it is?”.
So, life gets more and more challenging as the days go by, in fact, right now I’m in a lot of pain because of a sciatic nerve irritation, but it’s good, not because the things are all good or because my body hurts, but its good because all that God does is good. The Psalmist said, Psalm 100:5 (NASB) 5 For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.
His plan is for us to grow older so that we can leave this place and be with Him. That’s really good. So, yes life is challenging and it is full of many sorrows but it is also good. Good because all of this is temporary. All is temporary except for what decisions we make for God in this life. In other words, the greatest of decisions we can make is to surrender ourselves to Him. To turn away for all the things we have done that are unholy, unrighteous. And not just from our actions but turning away from those things in our hearts. It is in our hearts were the problem of sin is stored. Our hearts are desperately evil and separated from God and His love. So, the best thing we can and must do in this life, is turn our wicked hearts to Him. And we need to do that sooner rather than later because life goes by in a blink of an eye.
God says, life is like a vapor of water, it is here only for a moment, then it’s gone. (James 4:14). My interpretation is, life is like the blink of an eye. That fast! Crazy isn’t it?
As you remember all that 2019 has been for you, I hope and pray that you will enjoy the passing of time. Enjoy the struggles and the times of peace, it is all by design for us to be more like Christ. The One who came to give His life for us, so that we could have eternal life. Life is short, a blip on the radar, if you will. Make it your plan to make every moment count for others and yourself, but mostly God. Because in the end of this life on earth, there is great joy prepared. In fact, Solomon said it this way, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NASB) 13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. In other words, after you and I have done all we can to make this life something to remember, the most important thing to focus on is not getting older or time passing, in the blink of an eye, but that God will judge the intentions of our hearts one day, and reward us accordingly. I hope you will do all you can today to be a blessing to someone.