He climbed in my lap again this morning. Eyes half open and hair untamed, he came straight for me. They say the days are long but the years are short. And I feel every ounce of that truth as he folds into me. He’s content in my lap. Quiet. Still. And I notice how his toes dangle a little farther this morning and his weight presses in a little firmer and I wonder how this happened and if this is the last time we enjoy a morning snuggle together. Maybe not. But I know it is coming. The last is closer than the first. And that’s how I should see everything. With every tick, the last is closer. So many firsts have come and gone and been celebrated to the full but it’s the lasts that come unnoticed… only visible in a rear view mirror. And these are the things I want to savor with all five senses – the things that will never come again. And this could be every moment. Every moment of living could be a last - worth savoring.
In the midst of heaping laundry piles and dead car batteries, driving thousands of miles within a ten mile radius and dirty dishes, being the only one who knows how to change the cotton-pickin' toilet paper roll and perpetually picking up socks that belong to children who never wear them, the mundane and the routine, it's hard to savor the present. But they won’t be here forever. He won’t fit in my lap forever, though I tell him I’ll always scoop him and snuggle him close even when he’s sixteen, thirty-six. He thinks it’s funny and giggles that giggle that pierces my mama heart and I wonder… is that the last little boy giggle? Someday it will be a manly chuckle or an embarrassed scoff. The little boy will fade into the man God is building and I'm completely frozen at the thought. God is building a man before my very eyes.
I have this idea of the man I want him to be – courageous and compassionate, bold and humble, loving and honest. And so much more. And in many ways, he already is these things. But simply, I want him to be a man with a reckless faith. A man who worships his God with abandon and serves Him with wholehearted devotion. I want him to be godly. And there is only one way to godliness... and it's not through me.
I heard someone say once that if your children can fall in love with Jesus, this world doesn't stand a chance. Yes. That is what I want. For this world to not stand a chance. I want his courage that today carries him on his bike down the steepest terrain in the hands of Jesus to carry hope to the hopeless in the darkest corners of the earth. I want his
strong will iron-clad resolve that today fights for the sake of fighting in the hands of Jesus to fight the good fight for the sake of righteousness. I don't want the world to consume my son but the Son through him to consume the world.
I can be Type A about discipleship and list out a thousand ways to show my children who God is... but really it comes down to letting Jesus show Himself through me. That's how they will fall in love with Him. Not because of some grand activity complete with an inspiring bible lesson that I planned. Only by His plan will they see who He is. And it happens in the least expected moments of the day. Usually after the worst moments of the day. When we need Jesus the most. And He shows up. Right then. When my children have failed and the Holy Spirit guides me to show them the grace I have been given. When my children have disobeyed and the Holy Spirit guides me to show them the mercy that I have been given. When my children ache and the Holy Spirit guides me to show them the comfort I have been given. When I have failed and the Holy Spirit strengthens me to bend at their feet and ask for the forgiveness they have been given.
The Bible has made it clear. Nobody is good. Not even one. So how can I, a downright mess, do anything apart from Jesus? Especially something as good as impacting a generation for the glory of Christ?
He climbs out of my lap and scurries off upstairs. And I close my eyes and utter silently in thanksgiving and desperation and surrender:
Lord, the last is closer than the first. Thank you for this gift. May I choose the things that are everlasting. Every moment. May I choose You. Every moment. Shine through me today Lord. May they see You. Only You. And may we all fall in love with You so this world doesn't stand a chance.
I open my eyes and I see Baby Girl peacefully gazing at me with a hint of a smile. And I feel it all over again. The last is closer than the first.