Comedian Ken Davis, I believe, is the one who told this story.
One day, while holding my baby daughter in my arms, I made the biggest mistake of my life. I closed my eyes. When I opened them, I was in a dorm at a college helping her to arrange her room. And then, kissing her good-bye, I got in the car and left wondering how all this could have happened so quickly.
On Dad’s Day one remembers stories such as these. They remind us of the quickness of life. One day we’re placing kids in car seats, the next day they are in the drivers seat, and in a heartbeat those children hold their own son or daughter in their arms and we pray they don’t blink. The cycle continues, moving at what seems to be the speed of light. .
Introspective sorts of people think about such things. In the thinking and remembering they wonder about how they did as the parent to the children entrusted to them. Different people use different measurements.
Some might ask.
Are my children successful?
Where do they live?
Can they afford to give their children everything they’ve been given?
Can I brag about them?
Are they well educated?
I prefer these.
Do they love God?
Do they give back?
Are they making a difference?
Will they leave a footprint?
Will they sacrifice for the common good?
Will they care about those who lack essential resources?
Will they teach their children well?
Are their passions and abilities being used to meet some important need in our world?
How generous are they?
Will they choose to live where they can make an impact?
Will they have a deep desire to continue to learn and to grow?
Will they confront evil?
Different questions for different people.
If Jesus is to be believed the first set of questions don’t matter much. The second set are far more important. They point to the priorities of the kingdom, not the world.
I love my kids. Looking back, I did some good things. I also did some not so good things. Of course, I’m not done being their dad yet. In little ways I can still influence their lives. Daily I can pray for them. I also trust that God loves each of them far more than I can ever imagine. He will also be nudging, encouraging, and even disciplining their lives.
My kids grew up too fast. I blinked.
Now, as adults, their lives are filled with choices. They will stand at numerous crossroads during their lifetime. The decisions they make at those times will be important ones.
This world will woo them with promises of instant gratification, the adulation of peers and the gratitude of the marketplace. The kingdom of God beckons them to a life of adventure, a long obedience in the same direction and a chance to leave a legacy of faith, of caring, and of deep impact.
May God give my children and yours the wisdom to grab hold of what will last forever,