Life with a 19 day old baby is a little intense. Even as I’m writing this, I’m also balancing a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios in one hand so as to ensure I got some breakfast in before Ella wakes and inevitably demands the whole of my attention until her next nap.
Somehow with babies, time becomes everything. You have to be aware of the time that they last ate so you make sure they are getting fed properly (because, you know, unlike my boys, she can’t come up and tell me she’s hungry and request fruit snacks). You have to make sure she’s getting her naps in at certain times in order to ensure that her sleep in the evening is at maximum efficiency. There are certain things she can’t do until a certain amount of time has passed – no baby food until 4 months – and certain things she should be doing by a certain time – is she rolling over by that same time. Time, time, time. Babies and time seem to go hand-in-hand.
There is a temptation with babies to wish for certain times to pass so that other certain times can arrive. You may, like me, have been up in the wee hours of the night/morning, praying with God to miraculously transport you to the first night when your precious bundle sleeps through the whole evening until the morning. Not sleeping can do funny things to the mind, so surely it’s understandable to fantasize about a time when you will once again luxuriate in uninterrupted rest.
The funny thing about time, though, is that it is no respecter of our wishes. While we may want to see time speed up in preparation of an anticipated event, we cannot make the clock move even a second faster through sheer mental force of will. What may be worse, is when we turn around to realize that the clock has moved far ahead of where we would like for it to have gone, and we suddenly want to be able to turn back the hands of time. That’s just as impossible as speeding up life’s timepiece, though, and maybe even more devastating.
The picture above was taken last Sunday. I was still feeling a little shell-shocked at the world-shaking event that was turning our family from a quartet into a five member team. We ventured outside for a walk and I couldn’t help but revel in the scene spread before me: I have three children! Looking at the picture, it was so perfect for capturing the idea of time and how life is just one season after another. I look at 4-year-old Gavin out in the lead, charming and sure and completely endearing to anyone he meets. I see my strong, honest Joey in the middle, now mere days away from his 7th birthday and becoming such an individual each day. And then I see sweet Ella in the stroller, brand new and making discoveries each and every day. Seasons. Time keeps going on and brings new seasons with each beat that passes.
I remember hearing something years ago that struck me as simultaneously funny and profound. Comedian Mark Lowry said that one of the most overlooked yet comforting verses in all of Scripture comes out of the well-known Christmas story found in Luke. Just five words that speak such simple truth.
“And it came to pass…
– Luke 2:1
It didn’t come to stay, he said, it came to pass! I chuckled then and you may chuckle now, but oh wow, it’s so true! No matter what season of life you’re in – good or bad – it won’t stay for long. It may seem unending in the midst of it, or it may be so glorious that it flies by before you feel you’ve even grasped it, but it will pass!
Whether these words are encouragement today for those facing a trying time that feels like it will never end, or a reminder to those who are in a beautiful season that need to remember to cherish each moment, the truth is the same: it came to pass. The picture above is proof of that. Each one of the boys was once a baby in the place where Ella lays now. Blink, turn around, and suddenly they’re leading the pack and exploring their individuality. Life is just a series of seasons, which one are you in now?