He was grabbing a gallon of milk from the dairy case when I saw him. It took me a moment to recognize him. Six years ago he was a scrawny freckle-faced kid. Now this tall young man is starting his senior year of high school and playing on the football team.
How time flies.
As he headed for the checkout lane, thoughts of my own munchkin brigade danced in my head. Because it’s true what they say–the days are long but the years fly. My babies are still babies, but I know the day’s coming when I’m going to blink and see their grown-up selves standing in front of me. When I won’t be teaching them how to brush their teeth but teaching them how to drive. When I’ll be proofing college admission essays and hoping that the roots they’ve grown are strong enough to hold steady in the wild winds of this crazy world.
Time does fly. Slow it down, Lord.
Or maybe this: Slow me down, Lord.
It’s fall. And with fall comes the renewal of our routine. Gymnastics and piano. Wednesday nights at church. Homeschool co-op. Speech therapy and Mothers’ Day Out. Schoolwork is in full swing, and our days entwine with the dance of reading lessons and math, science labs and grocery runs, trying not to miss a beat.
I’m in the middle of it all. I can feel it in myself–the pressure to get through this thing so we can get to the next thing. The afternoons when I’m almost willing to pay the kids to go watch TV and stop talking to me for a minute. The sense that we have to rush through the day because the clock is ticking and soon it’s time for bedtime and baths so we can start it all over again tomorrow.
Slow me down, Lord.
Because now is what matters. Now is the only moment we’re given. And it’s in the now that we capture the memories to string like pearls–the precious jewels that make up a life well lived. Those moments like watching a child figure out that letters make words and words make stories and stories make up whole new worlds. Moments like the moment of triumph when she finally jumps off the diving board after a summer of false starts. Moments like the wonder of a monarch perched on a zinnia that stays almost long enough for chubby fingers to pet it before it flies away.
Slow me down, Lord.
Slow me down–long enough to teach me to number my days. Long enough to be fully present in this moment. Long enough to conquer the selfishness that tempts me to see them as interruptions to the schedule instead of gifts from you.
Slow me down, Lord. Long enough to love them. And long enough to see you.
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