...as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment -- Heb. 9:27
I've imagined, with their help often enough, what possibilities the future holds for my daughters. Princess T, our soon-to-be-five-year-old, wants to be a princess when she grows up. Little Miss, two years younger, wants to be a ballerina. Princess T wants to marry Doody, (the boy whose address shifts every time Princess T finds a new location fascinating enough to put him there) but still live at home and eat with us. Little Miss has shown no designs on marriage, but she worships the ground on which her big sister treads. The wedding plans are not far off.
But there's one thing I haven't thought about until I read Pastor Mark Roberts' blog today. The key phrase, while he is discussing Ash Wednesday:
As I returned to my seat after imposing ashes upon dozens of worshipers, I sat next to my 12-year-old son. I couldn't help but notice the prominent black cross on his forehead, placed there by another leader. All of a sudden it hit me that my dear boy will die someday. Of course I knew this in principle, but I hadn't thought about it in years.
< Crickets chirping >
Someday, my daughters will die.
< Pull jaw from floor; attempt to keep mouth closed; try again; repeat >
Of course, I too knew this in principle. But it's not something most parents spend much time pondering. I'm thinking of how to discourage the wrong sort of guy from attracting the eye of one of my girls (that guy is pretty much, well, any). I'm thinking of how to leave them well-prepared for life were something to happen to me. I assume (and hope!) I outlive my children. Yet I know nothing of what their lives hold for them.
Sometimes God smacks you upside the head with a reminder of why you are still on this planet. Reading Pastor Roberts' blog today was such a time. I have but a short time in which to impart to my daughters the Gospel, and the power of God to redeem a lost world, and lost souls. I'm reminded to take my charge in this area seriously: And fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord -- Eph. 6:4. I need to bring this message to the world at large, but first I have to live it, and teach it to my family.
For those parents who do not dwell on these matters, this should be a wake up call. Take the time to seek the truth with your whole mind, and your whole heart. If the Gospel is true, your child's eternal future is at stake. If not for you, then for them, make sure you are right. Teach them the Way; life is too short to bypass the brief chance on earth to make an impact that lasts forever.