Monday, December 1, 2008

Too Short to be Passive

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52)

As a parent, I've often wondered what it must have been like for Joseph and Mary to experience the same joys of parenting that I do with my children. There he was, the Savior of the world. Yet, he learned to walk, talk, and speak just like my children. He grew. He developed. He matured--just like my children.

Before the movie "The Passion of the Christ" came out, I was indecisive on whether or not I wanted to watch it. After prayerful consideration, I decided that I would go see it. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie took place during Jesus' walk to Golgotha. He had been beaten almost beyond recognition; and now, he was carrying the cross. During this dreadful walk, Jesus falls several times. During one of Jesus' falling scenes, his mother, Mary, witnessed his descent from the side of the street. As he fell, Mary had a flashback to when Jesus was a small boy. He had fallen and skinned his knee up. The scene is one of parental love as Mary picks up Jesus and comforts him in his distress.

Even though we know that the grave could not hold Mary's son, it amazes me that Mary had the same worries that every parent has. She couldn't bear the thought of her child hurting. And as I watched the scene play out, I couldn't help but wonder if Mary thought that the time had passed too quickly. Just the other day, they were looking for Jesus as a child. They found him in the temple. Just the other day, the Magi had brought their gifts to her young son. And now it was all flashing before her eyes.

Why do I write this today? I guess I am in somewhat of a sentimental mood. Just minutes ago, I watched my son, Emmett, splash around in his infant tub. He was kicking, splashing, and smiling. In the short time I have spent as his father, I have watched him grow in so many amazing ways. Similarly, I have watched my daughter, Ellie Kate, grow into a young girl with so much wide-eyed wonder. Just hours ago, I was watching her play dress up and walk around in shoes twice the size of her feet. It was beautiful.

As a parent, I wish to squeeze as much enjoyment out of what little time I have to spend with my children in this lifetime. If the standard passing of time so far holds true, Ellie Kate and Emmett will be graduating from school and I'll be shooting these arrows out of my parental quiver in no time whatsoever. I am angered when I see how often parents of children forsake their God-given responsibilities to spend time with and mold their children. I am angered when I see how often society makes children seem more like a burden, rather than the blessing that they are.

Life is simply too short to be a passive parent.