Last night was a joyous occasion in the Clarke household. It was the second birthday of our younger son, Thomas. It was a nice day on which I accomplished more then I set out to do and finished it all off with a birthday party with many of the new kids and parents in my life. Oliver was dressed as an astronaut, because that’s how kids dress these days. Everyone had a good time eating the burgers and the fire truck cake. Presents were opened and fought over, tears flowed as kids got hurt doing the sorts of things kids do, and on the whole it was a pretty normal sort of little kid birthday party.
This morning while walking the dog I felt as though I had missed the party, that I had been there but didn’t really see it. I don’t think this is just because I was cooking and cleaning up, it was more than that. It was a strange feeling, like I wish I could have seen the party from the vantage point of various people involved. It went too quickly for me. Much like the first two years of Tom’s life have gone too quickly for me, he speaks in 4 word sentences now, and can clearly tell you his preferences.
Many are the people who have told me to take care not to miss the childhood of my children and not to desire too strongly to be beyond the diapers and the tears. They are most certainly right that it is often hard to take the long view when you are desperately trying to pin a child down and get a new diaper on them. I suppose its our heartbreaking and achingly tender love towards children that make us so upset at how fast they grow up, despite our wanting them to hurry up and learn to clean up their dishes after a meal. You wouldn’t believe how long Oliver is in his bed when I read him stories these days!
All of this too-early middle-age crisis type of thinking got me to pondering about how good it is that God is eternal. If my love for my wife and children is only a shadow of his great love for each of us, I can only imagine how sentimental he would get over our getting old, our bad behavior and our good behavior, our getting sick, our getting hurt, our crying, and our laughter. If as parents we can be overwhelmed by our love for our kids and frustrated by the passing of time, imagine how God would feel as we came and went like flies on the wall of Chronos. The sadness of it, the desperation of it all would be enough to send God sorry he had ever spoken the world into being.
Thankfully for him (and us) God is eternal and he has a perfect ability to take the long view. He has a plan and he has implemented it. A plan that means that even as our children grow up and get hurt, learn to read and fall in love, the end of the story is guaranteed, it has been bought with the blood of Jesus, and all will be well. It is the perfect working out of God’s perfect love. How blessed we are!