by Billy Walker
SOUTHGATE, MI – Ok, so as Father’s Day approaches, I have to share this memory from childhood. My dad would kill me, but here goes.
I distinctly remember as a child, pre-school, and kindergarten age, cuz I’m home for lunch. My dad was a full-time evangelist. For those who wonder what that means, he went to different places and preached every night for a week, aka Billy Graham – but it was more Pontiac than Poland, and Grand Rapids more than Great Britain.
He was, however, pretty successful, and gone quite a bit. But he made it a point to come home every night. No matter how far away he was, he was home at some point so that he was able to get up and spend some time with his family before leaving again in the afternoon.
Now, the memory is this – every day for lunch, mom would make something for him to eat and he would enjoy it while watching, wait for it… “The Days of our Lives!” And every day I would hear, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives!”
Now for the life of me, I can’t remember one storyline from that show, but I sure do remember that tagline… “So are the days of our lives.” At age 5 or 6 I am thinking that sand passes through like molasses. I remember sitting in class on some days in school and thinking “never mind making it to the end of the day, how will I make it through this class? When will this hour end?”
The older we get, the faster the sand seems to travel. What do we do when our kids are wanting life to speed up and we are begging for time to slow down? In a whirlwind of warp speed that a decade provides, parents wind up experiencing driver’s licenses, open houses, graduations from high school, moving out and on to college, senior recitals, more graduations from college, first cars, first jobs, first loves, dating, engagements, weddings, and on the list could go.
Having gone through that period, I admit that I sometimes live vicariously through my oldest, Whitney, as she seemingly travels the world with a carefree spirit, writing, singing, and leading worship with Michael W. Smith. (True story!) She’s a wonder! Have you ever seen “Father of the Bride?” Awesome movie, but man, do NOT watch it when the sand is pouring through the hourglass as your youngest prepares to walk the aisle and marry the love of her life.
I could so relate to the Steve Martin character. Trying to figure out how to pay for the whole thing yet wanting it to be the reality of the dreams Kaylie, our youngest had since she watched Cinderella! This incredible sense of pride, while at the same time this piece of your life that feels like it’s being taken away. What in the world is that and where did it come from and can anything be done about it?
Let me try to summarize with hopefully a glimmer of spiritual encouragement. I remember the experience of graduations, both high school and college, and the perpetual smile and sense of “That one’s mine” that we felt as we watched each of those girls receive that diploma. It really isn’t much different than when they were kids on a stage for a musical performance. They would come on the platform and look for us – and once spotted, we couldn’t help but wave and smile, as if to say, “That one’s ours!”
I believe that pride we feel for our children is something that was created in us by the very one who feels pride for HIS children. It’s hard for us to imagine, isn’t it? The God of the universe pointing us out to some angels and saying, “that one’s mine!”
Now, were our girls perfect growing up? Far from it – made some mistakes, had some missteps, and were part of their share of misunderstandings. But none of that mattered in the overall scope of things. Especially on these special occasions when parental pride is not only accepted but expected.
So, God, in His incredible grace, accepts us with our imperfections and loves us unconditionally, while still pushing us to be better not only FOR Him, but THROUGH Him! (Philippians 4:13) The emotions we go through are emotions He gave us! He is an emotional God! (John 11:35) We were created in HIS image and that image gives to us the emotion that travels with us through this life, and I believe on into the next. Part of heaven’s greatness is the lack of longing that will accompany it! We’ll never have to say good-by again.
One more thing, as the sands of time pass through life’s hourglass, I believe God’s intention is for us to move from season to season…continuing to GO, continuing to GROW. Sometimes the pace will be frantic and frenetic with no time to think towards the future, let alone remember the past. At other points, it slows down a bit, giving us the opportunity to look back and remember the seasons that have been, but also looking forward to the seasons that are yet ahead. And in the midst of it all, remember the most important thing is to live in the moment that we have been given. Life is a series of seasons, seasons are years, years are months, months are weeks, weeks are days, days are hours, hours are minutes and minutes are seconds which hold the moments that we call NOW.
Oh, there goes another one! See how quick they are? Let’s make them count. Let’s enjoy not only the destination occasions that come for our family, but the life travel that moves us to those points. Whatever season you find yourself in – the sands of time continue to pass through the hourglass (James 4:14). Make each grain count! Not just for ourselves, but for our families, for our communities, for our world, and most importantly, for our God. Ok, I’m done – think I’ll go grab some lunch while taking in an episode of “Days of our Lives!” Nah!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Billy Walker became Lead Pastor of Calvary Church Southgate in 2006. He also serves as the Vice President of the Billy Walker Evangelistic Association and Hiawatha Youth Camp. Billy and wife Laurie have two adult daughters, Whitney and Kaylie, and a son-in-law, Eric.