Last night, our youngest child graduated from 8th grade at Madison Campus Elementary. The miracle of Sarah notwithstanding, he is the last of our children to move through that transition point. His mother and I are proud, happy, and also a little sad; a little nostalgic. We look at pictures from when our children were little and now we're living with two and a half adult children (ages 24, 21, and 14). Our oldest child will be leaving home next week for a new job hundreds of miles away and in this move, marking a new transition from her parents home, to her own. We're happy, because this is the way it's supposed to be; we're sad, because we will miss her, and know that the experiences and interpersonal dynamics that have defined our family are about to change.
We miss the days when our children, like their parents, were young, and wistfully ponder that if it were possible, would we turn back the clock? No; we wouldn't, because . . . yes; it's supposed to be this way.
The passage of time has a way of reminding us of how life is measured in important moments . . .birth, baptism, graduation, marriage, and ultimately, death. Some refer to it as the 'cycle,' but as people of faith, we do not think of life, and of those we love, as mice on a treadmill who run till they drop, or, as if our destiny is like moving through a circular maze which has an entry and exit point, but no meaning during the in between. For followers of Christ, we travel a different path that leads to a better place, one that in Matthew 7, which I was reading devotionally this morning, sounds challenging to find and to stay on. It is described this way: " Broad is the way and wide is the path that leads to destruction, and many enter through it . . but small is the gate and narrow is the path which leads to eternal life, and only a few find it." Through God's grace, I'm at peace this day to know, that you and I, and I trust those I love, walk the narrow path and have passed through the "small gate." I think of Jesus as the 'gate keeper' and I wouldn't want anyone else in charge of "keeping the gate!"
Enough philosophy, and theology, for now; Malinda and I are grateful for the gift of our children, and of our youngest son achieving this first rung on the academic ladder. I suppose more than an accomplishment that all experience who ever got through at least elementary school, it was to Mom and Dad a reminder that time is moving all of us forward toward an appointment, not with death, but with life, and the Life Giver - Jesus Christ - who comes in glory . . . very soon!