Two days ago we made the 545 mile trip down to my hometown, Irmo, SC. Me and my little family. Every time it amazes me how well our boys travel. They watch movies. Jaden plays with his Mobi-go. They make imaginary monster truck tracks on their arm rests and legs and have a rally full of sound effects. They are my seasoned little travelers and take the extremely long trip in stride. Until we hit the last hour. Then all bets are off.
Even though we’ve done a lot of moving since we got married, when I come back to SC it always feels like home. I can rummage through the refrigerator and make a feast out of the latest snacks my mom has prepared. A drive through downtown does not ignite annoyance of the fear of getting lost or stuck on a one-way street. I sit and enjoy the ambience of the Christmas tree, which is always a 9 foot beauty which dominates my parents’ vaulted ceilinged den, filled with ornaments commemorating their many trips, anniversaries, children’s milestones and events, some older than I am.
Over the past month since my mother’s stroke, which you can read about here, I’ve reflected on the love of family and how special that bond is. Differences between us and conflicts will rise, but the relationship that unites us will always be there. Sometimes it’s placed on the back burner and expected to stay alive simply because it’s there. Many of us develop the same sort of assuming behavior with our relationship with God. After all, he’ll always love us, right?
But I don’t want to live that way. As if I’ll always have one more day, one more moment to make experiences and memories which will live in my heart and mind forever. I know that one day, in God’s perfect timing, my parents will be face to face with their Heavenly Father. And even though I don’t spend my time dwelling on that fact or in fear of it, I am certainly aware of its reality. For that reason, let me live in this day. Not missing an opportunity to tell my Mom and Dad that I love them. That I appreciate them and everything they do to show they care.
As I watch my boys play with their Pa Pa’s model train set and run around the house without a worry in the world, I remember what Jesus said during his earthly ministry. “Let all the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” My silly, adventuresome boys who hug and kiss people they barely know. My little Jaden who instilled excitement in my nieces and nephews over saying the prayer before dinner.
I have no doubt my spirit will dwell with them in eternity, but we are given this one life here on earth to live, breathe, and let the Spirit of God shine through us. Let’s not go another day taking it for granted.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14