The endless days of summer seem less so when divided up by vacations and ministries and separated into three month blocks and two are already behind us. School starts in just one more month, the rush for pencils and a new backpack, clothes that aren’t stained from mud fights and drips from ice cream cones, shoes to fit feet that grew while exposed to grass and sand and fresh air, it all speeds the clock on the last month until suddenly the noise and chaos are over and quiet has come again. I know from too many years what to expect, this last month is precious. The urgency with I will lay out paints on the porch, build fires in the back, take trips to the zoo and water fountains on campus, sure it is for him but also because I need to wring every last bit out of summer with this child before he becomes a first grader, taking more steps away from the baby I know.
Time is a cruel reminder of how little control I have as I mark my calendar, look at anniversaries and wonder about progress. I joked with a friend about how little patience I have, something I surely should have gained now at my age. Rather, I am throwing my hands up, this is now a registered character flaw I cannot fix, must manage and accept. I want everything now. I need resolution, dessert, to lose my extra weight, hotter coffee, a haircut, a nap, all now. Right as the need arises, my mind contorts in confusion when events don’t happen at my speed. Thus slowing down summer, keeping this child safely just a boy and not sending him ever out into a dangerous world of choices filled with drugs and sex and violence, I want it all to stop, an unusual speed setting for me. A contradiction, borne of too much knowledge, too much loss, heartache that steals sleep and brings unexpected tears, I just want us to play more. Then a friend posted about adopting her daughter and I was reminded again of who God is and who I am.
Without sharing too much, she talked about her desire for a child and waiting, waiting, all the while her daughter was being born far away and she would meet her years later. I know this family and the absolute joy in the mothering, the delight she takes in her children. She has talked freely about her agony during her times of infertility. Yet God had a bigger plan all along, her family brings smiles and laughter to our circle and inspires many others to consider the same road. What can I learn from her celebration yesterday? Is God any less aware of the desires of my heart? Isn’t it quite possible that what I am asking for is so small compared to what He is bringing to us?
Faithful waiting, living fully while the clock keeps ticking, continuing to do the next right thing, this is God’s ask of me. Trusting that one day I will write about joyous reconciliations, about bigger loves and wilder outcomes, that is believing that God is in control of the calendar, the world, my heart. So we will make our muddy messes on the front porch, have s’mores in the back, we will paint rocks and maybe some trees with abandon. School will start soon enough, the boy will continue to grow. God protects him more than I ever will be able to, He just wants me to love him today. My job is really quite easy when put that way. Let the clock tick, we have playing to do.