I think I am getting old.
This is happening of course, against my will. It didn’t happen all of a sudden, though the rate at which it has approached is nearly dizzying. I first noticed it long, long ago, back in 1990, as I was holding a precious pink bundle of joy in my arms. Time seemed to speed up a little, and it hasn’t bothered to slow down any since.
You see that little bundle of joy is graduating from high school at the end of month! For pete’s sake, I remember my high school graduation like it was yesterday! Wait… umm… well I guess it was yesterday plus a whole bunch of years…
When it comes to time flying by, I have been told by my elders, who assure me that I am still “just a kid,” that this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. When my kids were very young, I would also hear from those older and wiser than I that I should treasure these early moments of my children’s lives for they would too soon grow up.
I have done my best to savor and appreciate the gifts of each of my children as they grew. As time seemed to gain momentum, each year would present its own unique set of joys and struggles. And I tried to give thanks to God in the midst of all of it, for all of it.
Now, once my eldest has graduated from RAHS and is off to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in the fall, she will still be my child, she will always be my child. Someday when my son is out on his own, doing whatever it is that God has uniquely gifted him to do, he will still be my child. To borrow a phrase from Paul in Romans, “there is nothing in all creation” that will change this fact.
Likewise, as Christians, in the waters of baptism we have become part of God’s family — heirs with Christ of eternal life. Now, to most of us, I imagine that sounds pretty good, but then we like the children we so often are (this is not a bad thing), look at the world around us and ask why? We see pain and suffering; we see those who shun God’s love for them; we see those who shun the love others would share with them; we see those who abuse themselves or others, or even creation itself; and we wonder what on earth the Heavenly Father is up to.
It is a good question, an honest question, but as a father who has been questioned from time to time I think we can catch an insight in the words from 1 John 3 “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.”
I find great comfort in these words. We are God’s children, now… not someday… now … just as we are … we are God’s children now. Knowing this we are freed to trust all we are and all we love into God’s loving hands. We are freed to grow into the children God created us to be. Time for us may fly by… but as heirs we can look to the future in hope as we are loved by the one who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and in who’s loving hands all time rests.
May God bless us all in the big moments of life, and in the calm patches as we grow into what we will yet be in Christ.