Two things this week have reminded me of just how quickly time flies. First, as my wife and I spend every evening packing boxes it seems impossible that we have been living on Boutwell Street in Dorchester for six years. Second, as our family sat in the Cheesecake Factory last night to celebrate our oldest son’s birthday it seems equally impossible that he first blessed our lives nineteen years ago. Where has the time gone? How can six years pass like a blur with all its moments captured only in digital pictures and precious memories? How is it possible that this man who sits across the table from me was once the bundle of joy that fit in the crook of my arm?
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
As I surf social media, I trust that many of those reading this understand what I am experiencing and are experiencing similar thoughts. We take the pictures of the kids on their first day of school and reflect back on when the backpack was bigger than its wearer. We take our kids off to college and realize that the centers of our lives suddenly have lives of their own. We pack up boxes of stuff and cart them off in moving vans and leave behind empty picture hooks and ‘ghosts of Christmas past’. Time marches on, whether we are prepared to keep step with it or not.
I wish I knew how to take the Psalmist’s advice and number my days, to stand on my desk and shout “carpe diem”, and seize each one of them as a blessing. Maybe that is one of the hidden treasures of first days, birthdays and moving days – the opportunity to walk through the corridor of time and reflect on a great number of ‘best days’ we’ve experienced. I won’t need to pack up the day we welcomed Joshua into the world (that snowy December afternoon), the day David and I went fishing at Neponset Park (that sunny day in August), the day Rebekah and I went to the Father/Daughter dance (what a special night), or the day that Jonathan drove home with his own car (while I was standing out in the rain taking pictures). I regret that there were not more days with greater memories but also understand that life happens on mundane Mondays and frustrating Fridays as well.
So, a new chapter begins tomorrow for our family. The pictures of the first day of school will be taken on a new set of front steps, a new place for the Christmas tree will be discovered, and adjusting to our new surroundings will take some time. Perhaps we will be better suited to number our days and extract as much living out of each precious one in our new home. No matter what, we will be together, taking pictures and making memories, for as long as the Lord allows. And at the end of the day, that will make each one special.
Well, these boxes aren’t going to pack themselves and I’ve got work to do. I pray that we all value today before it becomes yesterday.