A song poet once said,
“In the crackling of embers
Old men remember
Walking in beauty
In the dawn of their lives.”
“I thought our days were commonplace
Thought they would number in millions
Now there's only the aftertaste
Of circumstance that can't pass this way again…
I can melt the clock hands down
But only in my memory
Nobody gets a second chance to be the friend they meant to be…”**
Scientists mumble wild-eyed about mirror universes and K and B mesons, puttering about the circumference of Einstein’s Circle of Knowledge, dribbling crumbs of ambition, bacon and ego sandwiches on the carpet, sniffing around for Greatness without the slightest hint of irony.
All the rest of us know is that we can only move through time one way.
We get one turn.
A one-way ticket.
The first time is the last time you get a first time.
The exhilaration that is the treasure of youth, of first experiencing theretofore unknown life mysteries, is limited to maybe a double handful of milestones. The potential energy of anticipation and sometimes desperate longing transforming into the kinetic energy of the Thrill of action and experience, finally trailing off into familiarity that first burns white-hot, hangs suspended for a time, then vanishes into thin air like the vapor of a jet engine.
Eventually, the thing age craves is simple surprise. Wonder. Discovery.
My children are Growing Up. Becoming people. Getting ready to venture out into the world. Potential energy at its highest point. Nature’s first green is gold, Frost said.
And, Oh, are they are golden…
My heart aches. Often.
Because of them.
And a funny thing is happening…
I’m able to reverse time; I’m getting new firsts.
Through their eyes I can see possibility in a way that I can’t through my own.
Their world is joyful, tender, green, glowing, pulsing, and teaming with terrifying, mystifying, delicious and awesome opportunity. It looks like I haven’t seen it in some time.
And crazily, Jesus said we must become like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
And He said unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it falls and dies, it produces a whole harvest.
And He said we must serve each other.
And give our lives for each other.
And make disciples of each other.
Investment in others.
Making disciples of each other.
If physical parenting builds me a time machine, resurrects my heart, and gives me new eyes to see the world with, how much more would spiritual parenting renew my soul?
Our God is the God of Life.
When one vessel’s capacity for growth is exhausted, another comes to life and continues onward. The trunk nourishes these tendrils until they are capable of producing their own, and they in turn nourish their own children.
And the physical gives way to the spiritual.
And nature’s first green is gold.
**Song poet credit to Mark Heard for "Another Day In Limbo" and "Treasure of the Broken Land."