I blinked and he turned 12. You get this, you know this, because you blink too.
A blink and they walk, a blink and they run, a few more and it feels like my grip is loosening. It’s all so hard to contain. Making their own decisions, thinking their own thoughts, testing the waters of their own will, in blinks.
I was just brushing up against his new baby skin yesterday, you know; trying to get comfortable in my own new mama skin. Feeling defeat when he fell clear out of the high chair, feeling overwhelm when he defied nap schedules, it’s not easy getting comfortable here. I worried that he might eat too much sugar, watch too much television. I Indulged all the new mama fears of too much or not enough.
And then he turned twelve. He’s kind and caring, considerate and honest. His teeth haven’t fallen out, the high chair didn’t destroy him and neither did Baby Einstein.
But I have a hard time understanding how it all happened so quickly.
The wise women of the world warned me of this. They warned me that the days are long but the years are short. They warned me that the time would pass more quickly than I could ever imagine. And they were right.
But no one ever offered me a remedy.
Knowing does not equal slowing. The time is still vanishing.
I’ve been sinking deep into Beth Moore’s Entrusted study lately. I’ve been scavenging the Bible trying to understand Paul’s words to Timothy. In 2 Timothy chapter 4 Paul begins to get real with Timothy.
In the same ways those wise mamas took my face in their hands, the same way their words dripped of care and concern, of experience and the emotion of their own blinks, I imagine Paul penning the words to Timothy.
Listen son, this is important. I’ve been there. I know some stuff; listen carefully.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!
Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desire, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5 NKJV
Beth Moore paraphrases Paul’s mandate in her own words.
“What happens now matters then, Timothy. Every present moment has future implications. This is not about your past. Not just about your present. This is about your future. Everyone’s future. This will all matter. This will be what you will wish you had done. So do it. Because what happens now matters then.” (Entrusted, 148).
Eternity is such a hard thing for me to grasp at times. I fix my mind there for a moment and my brain becomes Jello. Nothing is transparent. I try to see it, I long to fully understand, but the images aren’t quite clear. I can’t understand forever or how quickly time passes or how this moment that consumes me now relates to the future in very real ways.
Until I look at my boy. Until I realize I blinked from baby skin to a sweetly awkward 12 year old. Then related to now in every way. Training and rearing is producing something real and beautiful.
What is too huge for me to grasp on the daily, I’m beginning to get as the blinks add up. The time is passing. The ladies weren’t lying to me. It’s happening.
And in this moment I begin to understand Paul.
This life I’m living, these priorities I’m setting are bigger than I often realize. Eternity is real. Judgment is real. His appearing and His kingdom are coming. I don’t park there often enough, friends. But what if God gave me these kids, these sprouting-and-growing-faster-than-I-am-comfortable-with children, these stretching-out-and-up-and-away-from-me kids, as a very real and daily reminder of the bigger picture?
I’ve got work to do here, friends. We’ve got work to do. The blinks are happening. The time is passing and we’ve been instructed. Preach the word! Be watchful. Do the work. Fulfill your ministry.
Time is passing. We know it. We see it. May we be brave enough to act on it.