I’m sure I’ve mentioned how completely bonkers (in a good way) my life has been lately in several of my recent posts, but as part of the craziness entails not writing anywhere near frequently as I’d like, I’ll sum up really quick for you: In the span of close to a year and a half I met the woman whom I would marry, got engaged, got married, found out that Angela was pregnant about four months after we got married, and then had the little man a couple weeks after our first anniversary.
To add to the bonkeriness, I lost my job 12 weeks after he was born. Then I found another one a week later. Now, that’s important because this was the week before we were scheduled to move and Angela to go back to work. Losing my job freed me up to help more with moving and unpacking than I would have otherwise been able, as well as to take care of Calvin while Angela was at work before his daycare starts.
The thing I’ve learned about taking care of a baby is that it forces you to slow way down. If Calvin doesn’t stay on his schedule it’s like a switch flips from “Cute and Cuddly” to “Monster Baby!”
Last Thursday was one of those monster baby days. Toward the end of the day I was just at my wits end on how to keep the little man calm while he’s so exhausted but doesn’t want to eat or sleep. That’s when I figured I had tried everything but singing to him, so I decided to try that. Thank God that worked, because if it didn’t then I can promise you I’d have been at the doctor the next day begging for medication to sedate me until I went back to work!
Ironically, the only two songs I thought I could sing remotely well enough to not make things worse were Blessed Be Your Name and The Wonderful Cross. Probably needless to say, about halfway through singing these two songs over and over about a hundred times I realized that I needed to sing these songs much more than Calvin needed to hear me sing.
Then I looked down at him and he had the cutest baby smile on his face. No, I hadn’t stopped singing. That’s when something clicked for me. I realized that I can go to work and provide for my family. I can build him a fort one day. I can do everything I know to keep a good relationship with him throughout his life, and if at the end of it all Calvin doesn’t understand the meaning of the songs I’ve been singing to him then everything else I’ve done is meaningless.
I know that God saves and that there is literally nothing I can do to awaken Calvin’s little heart to the beauty and glory of Christ in an effective sense. But if I don’t do everything I can to point him toward Jesus and try to put kindling around the fire I pray God will light, then I have wasted my time as Calvin’s father.
John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life was a book that literally changed the trajectory of my life, both Theologically and practically. Because in the book he says that he doesn’t want to look back at his life and have to admit “I’ve wasted it.” This hit so hard because once I held up the life I was living in my early twenties to that light, I could tell that I was on the trajectory of wasting my life.
I am so grateful that God forced me to slow down long enough to check my heart and parental trajectory when Calvin wasn’t even three months old.
Even while Calvin was smiling and happy to be with his daddy, my one prayer for Angela and myself, and challenge to the other parents out there, is that we would live our lives in a way that points our children toward King Jesus so they might know him as the Author of our faith, the Savior of sinners, and the sovereign Lord of all that is.
May we not look back at all the formative years of our children’s lives and have to confess that we’ve wasted them.
Soli Deo Gloria