Great Beginnings, Sweet Endings

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,

-bill

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Children, Christian Living, Family, Graduation. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Great Beginnings, Sweet Endings

  1. Mag says:

    I so love having wise people in front on me. You guys are the gymnastics floor mat…for me, and for my little ones, padding the brunt falls a bit, giving a bit of spring to the steps.

    Blessings to you and yours. Thanks for the link, for reading, and for sharing your life with those around you. This is how the body of Christ functions best…knowing it is not alone.

    Peace and Protection to your daughter today. May she find what her heart needs this year as she grows in so many ways.

    Shalom–

    [You are very kind, Maggie. My daughter had a great day at school today! Blessings to you and yours, -bill]

  2. Cecil Walker says:

    Good thoughts Bill. Our kids own a very precious part of our hearts.

    [Like Solomon said: Wise children bring joy to their father… Grace to you, my friend!]

  3. Greg England says:

    We went with Josh and Heather yesterday to check out a new car. He is so tall, he can’t fit in Heather’s Honda Accord. They found what they wanted and, after receiving a phone call from the salesperson saying he’d found a dealer that would give them more for their Honda than the blue book value, made the trade. They were so proud of their deal. I was proud to be along for the ride. My wife and children are the heart that beats within my chest.
    Enjoyed the other blog references as well. Read them but didn’t comment. I’m about up to my blog limit for reading regularly and commenting. I’m taking out of sermon study time to write this! At my age, the old attention span just ain’t what it once was.

    [aaahhhh! That new car smell. Next to fresh baked bread, it’s one of most American’s favorite aromas! Somehow you’ve gotta’ figure out how to combine sermon preparation time and blogging. Talk about “phoning it in!” God bless, dear brother!]

  4. Dee Andrews says:

    I agree with Greg. Thanks for ALL and I’m about at my limit on readin blogs, too, I’m afraid.

    Pray for Tom, if you all would. He took a weekend, and a 3 day one at that, for the first time in a couple of months and still isn’t home yet tonight, here at 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday evening.

    Bill – remember my excitement at our planned “company paid” vacation? Well – he can’t now (in September after the euphoria of the December after Katrina) get final “company” word on it. We are higly upset, to say the least. There is no answer of no, yet. Just no answer at all after repeated attempts to get info about. And we really NEED some time off for the first vacation in about 3 years.

    I know. In the greater scheme of life it probably doesn’t matter, but to us, it does. Greatly.

    Thanks. Dee

    [You and Tom are in my prayers! Such a shame about the trip…hopefully it will still work out!!! Blessings, -bill]

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