The truth is, the sun will rise one morning somewhere in the future and before it sets you will have taken your last breath as a human being on this planet. There will be traffic jams in all of the places where traffic normally jams, and cattle will graze lazily in green fields like they always have because it’s the only thing they know to do. Rivers will still flow around and over the tops of rocks, and people will still sit by the side of the water to listen to the perfect sound it makes.
And all of these things will happen the next day, too.
A few days later your children will be sitting in the front row of the church, and people will be reaching out and touching their hands as they walk by, quiet and melancholy. They hear the nice things people are saying, but this is one of those things where words don’t really mean a whole lot. Still, they appreciate the gestures.
How will they grade you?
He told me he loved me every day. Actually, multiple times per day. And he kissed me on the forehead every time I came within reach. He held radically high, almost unreasonable expectations of me at times. He fought for me relentlessly. He came down hard on me, sometimes unfairly, and the weight of his disapproval could crush my bones into dust. He told me I was great – the absolute best at what I was doing – and believed it wholeheartedly. And because he believed it, so did I. He was completely intolerant of certain things. He loved my mother in a way that taught me everything I needed to know about what my own future marriage should be. He made some mistakes as a parent that I can probably learn from.
And he was there for me. Every day.
As a kid, as a teenager, in college, as an adult trying to find my way. On the soccer field, in my room praying over me, helping me pack my stuff, on the phone.
How will they grade you? E for Every Day is, I’m nearly certain, the mark you should be hoping for on this test.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58
My prayer is to keep getting better in every area I can. To be a man that my children look up to, and that they are proud of. I pray they grade me well.
I ask it in the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
(This is an excerpt from an upcoming book called Mile Markers)