Today has been a day of reflection, in addition to everything else on my normal daily agenda. I don’t think most of us schedule these days, they just happen. You’re moving along quite nicely, with business as usual, and from out of no where comes emotion, reflection and memories to be entertained in your mind. The longer I live the more I am convinced there is nothing new under the sun, just replays of yesterdays lives dressed in todays fashions.
For most in our community, today or within the last week or so, school has begun it’s fall session. I’m a father of two boys, Paxton who is 7 and Cooper who is 5, both were excitedly anticipating the next step in becoming “big boys.” This parade of pomp and circumstance has played out on every stage over countless generations. In the first act we find young couples who formerly were child actors themselves now with children of their own. The costumes may be different than the last, but are usually new and bought special for these first school days. Everyone looks the part, now comes the big day.
The big day consists of numerous joyful fathers and mothers who’s prayers have been answered with school back in session. Of course in this number of families are the perennial tear soaked parents, mourning the impending growth of their little kindergarteners. If I saw 10 tear soaked, snot wiping parents, I bet I saw one hundred of them. Ok, I had a moment, very briefly, where my eyes glistened. This isn’t my first, first day and my boys made it easy. Both walked confidently and proudly into the halls of education anticipating the path of learning that was spread before them. Like a banquet table of delicious dishes enticing them, their eyes were filled with delight. Ok, maybe I got carried away there…
Tonight as I cooked I caught myself doing what I had promised I’d never do.. that’s right I was asking all the same questions my Moma asked me EVERYDAY. See I have been on the other end of this pageant as most of you have. My Moma never drove a car, at least not in my lifetime, so we were blessed to be within ‘walking distance’ to everything. Her definition of walking distance may not be the same as yours. Her’s stated, if you can get there before dark after leaving at a reasonable time the morning of, well, that’s walking distance. So Everyday standing on the walk was my Moma, waiting, patiently, excitedly, reliably waiting. I look back and those are some of the sweetest memories I’ll keep with me the rest of my life.
Back then though I just wanted to come home and relax. You know from my ‘stressful’ 8am to 3pm ‘work’ day, with recess, snack, lunch, nap… thinking back on it, what was I so tired from? Anyways, she and I would repeat the day’s events as if she had missed the first showing and was living for the reruns. She hung on every word even as she pried it out of my mouth like pulling a sucker from the clutches of an angry toddler. She had invested her life into me and now she wanted to make a withdrawal. So there I was tonight asking, “what was for lunch, who’s your new friends, do you like your teacher, what did you do, who did you talk to, who did you sit with,” you know the same things I promised I wouldn’t ask. Only now, I’m the parent that had waited all day just to see their faces, hear their voices and find out all about their day. Maybe in some way it helps me to feel like I’m there and makes the separation easier.
I wonder if God feels that way? I wonder if He waits through most of our days to hear what’s going on. I also wonder how often we go to bed with Him disappointed. It’s not like He doesn’t know. But really it’s not like we don’t know what’s going on in the lives of our children, it’s basically the same thing as it was when we were their age. It’s true you know, the more things change the more they stay the same. My Moma knew my schedule, she knew what I ate, she packed it most days. She knew who I talked to and if I liked my teacher. What she was looking for was time to share with me and in part be there even when she could not. God wants this from us. Yes He knows everything you have been through today, but He wants to hear from you, share with you and be present where it may seem like He is absent.
This story could go on and on… I just wanted to share a little bit of what’s on my mind tonight. So talk, ask the obvious questions that have the same ol’ answers, and be present in the lives of those around you. Also remember to talk to your Father, your heavenly Father, He’s there now, just waiting, patiently, excitedly, reliably waiting. Tell Him about your day. As we close the curtain on this moment in our lives, we will go take one more ride on the go kart, talk about the rabbit we are bound to see, look at each other and smile, come back home to their Moma who’s ready to talk, hug and instruct the nightly chores. We will give them their baths, have a ‘little snack’ as Coop calls it, send them off to their beds where we will pray over them as we have every night of their lives. To some it may seem monotonous, boring even, but to us it’s a glimpse of heaven in the same world that many feel like they are living in hell.