A Cruel Reality

Life Notes—May 3, 2012

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1

The other day my wife reminded me of a conversation we had 25 years ago.  We were having a premarital discussion about children.  I told her I thought I would be fine if we did not have children.  I had participated heavily in the raising of my sister and brothers and felt I had already experienced parenting.  As has been true so many times in our married life, I was wrong. 

Since the moment I laid eyes on Grace at her birth, when she wrapped her tiny fingers around my little finger, I was hooked!  Then Reid was born and grew, trying to imitate everything I did—I was a goner!  I have loved every phase my children have grown through.  I thank God everyday for this amazing experience of parenting and have wished I could freeze my children in time at every phase and keep them there forever.  Of course, they continued to grow and change and with each new phase I found new things to love and appreciate about fatherhood. 

But a major change is coming and I am not happy about it.  My children are no longer children.  This month Grace will graduate from college and head off to graduate school.  Reid will graduate from high school and head off to college.  And me, I will graduate from “daddy” to I know not what.  Many of you have been through this and feel no sympathy for me.  Others of you have wished with all your heart for the amazing parenting experience I have been given.  Even so, I am feeling terribly sorry for myself. 

As parents it is our job to raise our children to become independent, productive members of society.  We are to shepherd and love and care for them from birth to adulthood.  I believe Carrie and I accomplished both directives.  But I was not prepared for the end to come so quickly.  It feels like a cruel, cosmic joke is being played on me.  While I rejoice mightily in the wonderful young adults Grace and Reid have become, I selfishly mourn the coming loss of their daily presence with me.  As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “For everything there is a season.”  The past 21 years have been the “daddy” season for me, and what an incredible season it has been.  I cannot envision the season ahead of me, but my faith assures me it will be another amazing chapter of life and love.  But for now, it is a season to whine and mourn because I am not ready to move on. 

Tom’s sermon downtown is “We Believe in Life Everlasting,” based on John 11:17-27.  Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Mitch preaches at the west campus where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  His sermon is “Hunger is not a game: Spiritual Hunger,” and is based on John 6:30-40. 

Come home to church this Sunday. The winds of change continue to blow…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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