Teach me to number my days
And count every moment before it slips away
Taking all the colors before they fade to gray
I don’t want to miss even just a second more of this
It happens in a blink
It happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
The only thing that matters is how we have loved
I don’t want to miss even just a second more of this — lyrics from the song “Blink” by Revive
I drop my kids off at school every day. It’s a spiritual experience for me, and I’m not joking.
There is something about that 2 minute ride from my garage to the curb of the school that lifts me up out of myself. Seriously, I seem to transcend up and out of my hurriedness or my laziness, depending on which one is assaulting me that morning.
Sometimes they are bickering, sometimes just staring out the window, sometimes they are silly. Sometimes they want to turn on some music, sometimes they tell a joke, and sometimes they tell how much they love me. Sometimes they are stressed about their day, sometimes they are laughing at the day, sometimes they are planning their day after school, and sometimes they are just wondering what day it is.
But whatever attitude, action, or atmosphere they jump into my car with, it doesn’t seem to matter. I ascend to some special place of deep awareness, immense gratitude, and fearful awe.
The deep awareness is of the seconds passing by.
The immense gratitude is for these 3 growing human beings that are occupying those seconds with me.
The fearful awe is from how much I value and enjoy each of these seconds with them and I can’t keep a one.
When my kids mobilize themselves, barely waiting for me to stop the car before their feet hit the ground running, I sit in my car and watch. I watch them run (usually) all the way to the door of the school.
At this point, you probably think it’s because I’m trying to be a good parent. They are my responsibility, after all. They are officially in my care until they disappear into the stewardship of that school.
But that’s not what motivates me. They would be just fine walking the 40 yards without me there. As a matter of fact, I’m more often sitting there feeling some pressure to get going. There are other cars behind me, things to do, places to go, and people to see.
But I don’t. I watch them all…the…way…in. Why, you might ask? What keeps me sitting there?
This thought: “Which second of their life do I want to miss witnessing?”
Not a one.
And it isn’t about my kids, really, as important as they are to me. They are just being used by God as powerful props to stir me up, grow me up, and wake me up.
There is something in everyone that really wants to matter. It’s a craving and driving force in every human being I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. As if we just know we are supposed to.
And when I live fully present with another human being, committing myself to letting them know that they do indeed matter, the need in me is mysteriously satisfied as well. And then a miracle often happens.
We both connect with God. Right there. Right then. Sometimes it’s acknowledged, sometimes not. But believed in or not, noticed or not, there He is.
Which may explain why Christ gives the commission to love the force of a command: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
What second of my life do I not want to be a part of that?