I taught my son to shave yesterday. I can’t believe I just typed that, much less actually handed him the razor. But I did, in a quiet, low-key ceremony without pomp, I handed him the razor. And now my mind seems to be stuck in slow motion, as if to rebel against some perceived speed infraction of life traveling by.
“Slow down life!” No response. Mist, indeed.
I gaze deliberately around my mind’s corners and see years stacking up like yellowing newspapers towering on a hoarder’s kitchen table. My eye pauses and strains to see wrinkled headlines of memories past. There’s one. It’s the time when Abbigail cut her own hair, hid the evidence, and with a poker face that would have caused the biggest, Vegas high-roller to squirm with envy said, “I did not cut my hair and put it behind the couch.” A smile.
There’s another. One of many tea parties with Emily no doubt, filled with high-pitched, but awesome British-ish accents, invisible crumpets, and names like Misses Dinglehoffer and Mr. Farggennewton. She starts college in the fall.
The problems of then seem so much smaller than the problems of now.
Images flash on. The happy scenes are many, but the trials seem no less vivid. Life can be hard on this groaning ball. There’s real pain here – big, bold pain that brings the gears of life to a screeching halt. Tears. Then the gears turn again, slower than before but gaining speed now. Normalcy, but not really.
God says it’s never meaningless. Questions remain.
We’re here, and then we’re not. Blink, it’s gone. So what do we do? Make mud pies and hope for the best? I’ll pass. I want more, I want to give myself to joy. If joy won’t have me at the moment, if the inn is full, I’ll suffer meaningfully. May it be so, Lord.
Christ reigns. He decides, not me.
I want Him to have all of me. And snippets like yesterday, when I pause and struggle to find my bearing because time seems to be winning, I want north to be Christ. Always, eternally focused. I want to spend my life experiencing the awkwardness of being in the world, but not of the world. Homeless, but homeward-bound.
My story… my mist, is part of His story. And His story is one of glory and grace, mercy and meaning. That’s the mast I’m nailing my colors to. The joy I’m after lies in His story and is of the all-sufficient, deep, abiding type. No cheap thrills, no emotional highs, no shallow platitudes…
…Joy that can break in on a small bathroom, as a father hands his son a razor for the first time, and sadness lurks near. Yep…
I did, I handed him the razor. A smile.