“Life is too Short”
“As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer.” -Psalm 103:15-16
Time is moving and it is moving fast. There is no escaping this constant, unmovably moving passage. Some choose to ignore the markers that are pointing to this reality, but as Mothers, there is no room for such delusion. Our children are a very regular reminder. This life and their lives are passing all too quickly…baby boy rolled over for the first time; seems like only yesterday you heard his first cry, raw and guttural…brother jumps two clothing sizes over the summer…the twins perform in their first play…little sister isn’t so little anymore and is about to get her permit…big brother has graduated and is heading off to college…
Oh yes, for us Mom’s, the reminders are almost as constant as time itself.
The old adage, “The days are long and the years short” couldn’t be more true. Sometimes the tyranny of the urgent: getting the children dressed and out the door or putting the baby down for a nap, can cloud our vision, but as the dust settles and we see the subtle and dramatic changes that come with growth and maturation, we can not help but stare down the barrel of time. I don’t know about you, but whenever my children reach new milestones and especially when they leave one behind, I feel a deepening sense of responsibility and urgency. I am reminded that while the day might seem like it is never going to end, these children that God has entrusted to me, are rapidly approaching adulthood and eventually death. I am reminded that much like the servant with his talents, these children are not mine. They belong to God and I have been charged to invest in them, to “train up a child in the way he should go; [so that] even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)” One day, I will stand before God, my Master and have to give an account to Him for how I handled, treated, and invested in these people he has entrusted to me. Will he say “well done my good and faithful servant” or will I be like the servant that wasted his talent, burying it in the ground?
“For it [the kingdom of heaven] will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” -Matthew 25:14-30
We do not know the day or hour that our Master, King Jesus will return but we do know that we are supposed to be ready and alert, not letting time slip by, wasted. Practically everyone has an opinion on how our children should be raised and disciplined but just as the talents were given to the servants “each according to his ability” God has intentionally chosen you to parent the children that God has entrusted to you. So don’t waste precious time worrying about measuring up to that cool Mom on Pinterest or even to another godly Mom friend. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15)” And how do we know what his will is? By reading, studying, praying over, meditating on his word, the Bible. We should never hold ourselves up to the standards of others, but instead hold our lives and efforts up to the infallible word of God, looking humbly to Jesus, He is the living word. It is by his stripes that we have been healed and saved from sin and it is only through his sacrifice and his strength that our efforts will be any better than those of the slothful servant.
So where do we even start? How can we be faithful to God and invest in our children? Start small. “You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.” You don’t have to come up with some big grandiose 10 step plan. There is no magical formula. Take baby steps and feed yourself on the pure spiritual milk that is God’s word. Feed your children.
“like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,” -1 Peter 2:2
“And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” -2 Timothy 3:15-17