May 2006

What happened? Just yesterday Will, Joel, and a friend were walking in the shallow end of the lake wearing black mud boots and looking for bull frogs, catching fish, and scratching their poison ivy. They spent hours running around Pine Cove Christian Camps, not worrying about tomorrow. Those boys taught more kids how to catch animals and hide in a fort than I can imagine. They drank slush puppies, chased possums, did flips off the high dive, and met their new best friend at camp each week.

Moments ago I dropped Will off at the airport so he can be a senatorial intern in Washington, D.C. He has just finished his first year at Samford University.

I am standing outside of security with tears in my eyes—I am sure it is my allergies. I cannot believe he is so grown up.

What is going on?

This shy kid, who loved to stare at bugs and catch lizards, is now going to wear a suit to work for the next six weeks. He will be taking people on tours. He will either fall in love with politics or become a cynic because of the world inside the Beltway.

Where in the world did the time go? I worry when I start sounding like my parents. Maybe it is because I am now as old as my parents were when they told me, “Don’t blow it—spend as much time with your kids as you can. They will be gone before you know it.”

I am praying that those years of studying God’s word at Starbucks and the time in his personal Bible readings are etched upon his heart. Hopefully, all those years at camp, vacation Bible school, and Sunday school are engraved on the forefront of his mind.

I am not asking or expecting him to be perfect, just submissive to God’s Word and to the Holy Spirit. I pray that the words of Proverbs 3:5 capture his heart—that he would trust the Lord with all his heart and lean not on his own understanding.

Dads: Love and lead those boys and girls the Lord has given you. Teach them, show them, be there for them, and let them see what a man or woman of God is like.

Live with no regrets. You see, your day is coming, and you are going to ask that same question: “Where did the time go?” I can almost promise that when your day comes, your allergies will be bothering you, too.

Copyright © 2006 by Mario Zandstra.