As I started this day, two posts caught my eye. Let me tell you about these.
The first was written by someone I have never met face-to-face but consider a blogger-friend. His name is Mark and his blog is My Life as a Christian. We are drawn together by a common love for the Lord. I am strengthened and encouraged daily by the depth of his faith. I am inspired by the way he lives his life open to the Lord’s leading and sharpened by the spirit of candor God has placed in his heart. His post dated September 3 succinctly addresses one of the most important concepts in the Bible. It is titled: One anothering. I hope you will read it. I believe you will be stirred up by way of remembrance if you do.
The second post was written by a brand new blogging friend named Maggie. She is the author of a delightful blog called Magnanimity. She writes off-the-cuff about her life, her love for the Lord and her love for her family. This morning (actually late last night), she wrote about not liking the fact that she was sending off her last preschooler in the home for his first day of kindergarten. Parts of it really cracked me up. Other parts of it really set me to thinking. Here’s the link to this post titled “Catering”. Hope you’ll take a look at what Maggie is doing. It’s good stuff.
As I reflected on Maggie’s post, it set me to thinking about the growth and development of our children. I told her in a comment that, in my estimation, as long as her little tike’s parents are tuned in to what is happening in his life like she and her husband apparently are and they are trying to lead him in the Lord, the lad is going to be just fine.
I then waxed a bit nostalgic and told her that as our children climb higher, run faster, throw harder and jump further we parents begin transitioning into the role of “spotters”. We are somewhat like gymnastics coaches. We’re there to help them with their technique and keep them from hitting the mat too hard. Sometimes we have to tell them after a particularly jarring fall that they must pick themselves up and go for it again. Otherwise, our best work is done when we cheer them on.
Before long—usually before our hearts are ready to deal with it—they are doing back flips on life’s balance beam. In fact, that’s how I feel this morning. Our youngest child–our only daughter–headed out the door for her first day as a freshman in high school! Yikes!!! It is hard to believe that this is possible. But, it is.
As our children become young adults and work through each step of their routine, we are never casual spectators. We are sometimes an embarrassment to them. That’s okay, though, they will likely have children one day. Then they will understand. Until then, well, they’ll just have to put up with us, right? Still, we must guard our actions carefully, since even our best intentions and efforts at helping could really mess up their routine. Life’s balance beam is narrow and hard. If they take a fall now, it is likely to do some real damage. But, they must step out and (in a wholesome sense) strut their stuff. With fear and trepidation we watch their every move. We hope only for the best. We celebrate every completed routine as though it were an Olympic performance. We will never pass this way again, so we savor every moment. They are precious and sweet, indeed.
There is consolation in knowing that this is only the beginning. Solomon said, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning…” (Ecclesiastes 7:8). It has taken me almost half a century of living to begin to understand this. Now that I’ve watched two of my sons walk across the stage at their high school graduations, I have caught a glimpse of the meaning. When I watched my oldest graduate from college earlier this year there really was a sense of satisfaction. A few years ago I was thrilled at how grateful our son Matthew was when he received a new guitar for his sixteenth birthday. I’ll savor that moment always. But, it pales in comparison to how satisfying it was to listen to him play and sing in the years that followed. Hopefully, this is not the end of his development as a musician, but he is no longer a beginner, either. His performances are very precious moments, which do taste sweet when savored.
So, here’s hoping that this is a day of great “beginnings” and even sweeter “endings” for all who pop in at the Spiritual Oasis today.
Grace to you all,