16 minutes

16 Minutes

 The drive to school takes 16 minutes…depending on Kellogg traffic.

I know that because most mornings I drive our 15-year-old and 9-year-old to school. And during that commute, we talk.  I know we have about 16 minutes or so. Many days the conversation is not about super deep things.  It’s 16 minutes of talking about the day ahead, listening to Christian music, being silly, verifying homework, quizzing for an upcoming test, answering questions they have, and immersing myself in their hearts as we yield, merge, and change lanes.

But sometimes those 16 minutes are about deeper things.  It’s reading Bible verses.  Talking about God. Working though struggles.  Or navigating the larger issues of life.  Their hearts overflow through their mouths as we traverse across town. And before they go inside the school, we will take a few minutes in the parking lot to pray together. Those 16 minutes are my attempt to be a  Deuteronomy 6 dad in a Romans 1 world. And those 16 minutes, much like their lives, go by way too fast.

To be honest, right now life is a grind.  Every day.  There’s a slew of expectations, demands, and tasks that must happen.  I’m not complaining—that is simply the current reality.  It’s spinning 35 plates simultaneously.  And in the middle of those plates stand my two children who, each day, inch closer toward adulthood.  Every once in a while, I look down from the spinning plates to see them a tiny bit    bigger, and a tiny bit closer to the time when they fly the nest.

The other day, as we stopped to pray, for whatever reason, it occurred to me that these days will pass. Their hands will continue to grow. This season will change. I will not always have these moments. So, I took a moment to take this picture.  It’s a glimpse into that moment of our daily routine. It’s a reminder to me that this is just a phase.  It will pass quickly so I must make the most of it today. I must be a good steward of the children God has given me.  To do that, I’ve got to pause, get off my phone, slow down, and make the most of these days and moments.  Because, in a day closer than it has ever been, the phase will be over.

To my fellow parents out there.  Whatever phase you’re in, appreciate it, make the most of it, and do your best to make God a central part of it.  Whatever the phase, our purpose as parents, is to glorify God and help our children to heaven. With each passing day, you see, we’re running out of time.  So, may we make the most of these fleeting moments.