Why is it so hard to let them go?

[vc_row fullwidth="false" attached="false" padding="0" visibility="" animation=""][vc_column border_color="" visibility="" width="1/1"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]"Daddy, will you walk me in?  I'm a little nervous."  She held my hand all the way in, where a sea of new outfits and brightly colored running shoes  adorned  5th grade orientation day.   Her eyes (and mine) scanned the room, looking for just one familiar face.  An 8th grader assigned to welcome new 5th graders walked up, but Abi wasn't so sure.  Neither was I.  Do I let go?  Is this the moment?  Who's making this decision anyway? I turned to her, "Are you good?"  No response.  She was still scanning the room.  I started to loosen my hold on her hand.  She never looked up, but quietly released my hand and walked forward with the strange 8th grader.  I kissed her little curly head, actually it was more like a "skim kiss" - she was moving.  Awkward.

"Ok.  I… I guess you're good."

It was just yesterday that we moved to the frozen north and my little bird was wrapped like a burrito in  a purple snowsuit.  Back in Tennessee, just owning a snowsuit might get school canceled, but this place was like Mars.   Heavy snow, sub-zero temps?   School is still on?   As they say in Minnesota, "Yep… We are "go for launch."

Being the good parents that we were, we moved to Minnesota half-way through the school year.  Not only that, we threw them into the deep end - from home school to public school.  Might as well go all in, right?

It was the least I could do to spend the rest of that year parking on the curb, walking all the way in to Mr. "What's His Name's" kindergarten class (still can't pronounce it), unwrapping the burrito and assuring her that it was going to be a great day.

This week, 5th grade invaded the world of that little purple burrito.  I could swear that I just let her hands go as she took her first steps.   How did this happen so fast?

This universal experience of time moving too fast can be palpable this time of year.  First day pictures of little ones with backpacks, weeble-wobbling their first day into pre-school eventually turn into scowls and "I'm too cool to pose for your dumb picture, Dad."  We scratch our graying heads and suck in our ever protruding mid sections realizing that we aren't as young as we used to be.

I'm 43 and there are days (like today) when I feel like I am the one going back to school.  Anxious  with the uncertainty of the future, or maybe it’s the certainty of time passing, I take timid steps forward.  I've found (I hope I'm not the only one) that the struggles of middle school plague us in our 40's as well.

Am I accepted?  Am I any good at this or that?  Will I be picked to be a part of this or that thing?

Yes, I know that my identity needs to be grounded in Jesus, but  mysteriously  find myself on shaky ground as I give in to these stupid questions.

Lord, I'm supposed to be past this.  A man, grounded in You, unwavering in my devotion to your ways, fixed on mission, faithful, etc.

Yet I hand off my three Bams, who are quickly becoming young adults,  and I want somebody to "walk me in" to this new, scary place.

There is a time for every season under heaven.   But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Time never waits for us.  We can't stop it, reverse it, or stay it's effects on our lives.   I would contest that those effects can be quite harsh.

Solomon, author of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs and a Song that you can't sing in church, had a few things to say about time, many of them not so positive.

"Meaningless.  Everything is meaningless!"

Not such a great start, but he might be pretty good company on those days when you'd like to punch the person with the Bible verse.  Those moments when what is needed is a vision of Jesus, the One who spoke the Sun and Moon into their courses - ironically, so that we could know the time of day.

Might He have given us time so that we might long for  a home where time never ends?  Maybe time's inevitable passing teaches us to number our days so that we might prepare for  a Day of Days to usher in the beginning of forever?

Solomon eventually hit the good stuff (after all the "meaningless" talk) and gave us this:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  - Ecclesiastes 3:11

I can loosen my grip on their little (not so little anymore) hands and reach for the One who made the watch.  As it ticks away, He whispers to those who have an ear to hear:

"We're just getting started."[/vc_column_text][mk_icon_box2 icon_type="icon" icon_size="64" icon="mk-li-paper-plane" icon_color="#02b3ff" title="Follow Chad's Blog and never miss a post." title_size="24" title_weight="inherit" title_top_padding="10" title_bottom_padding="10" align="center"]

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