The reason it’s hard to take pictures and videos of my kids, knowing the fullness of the moment could never be captured and I will miss something of it by hiding behind my camera or phone. And, the reason it’s even harder to view them later, feeling an acute sense of loss over the passing of time.
It’s the reason that, though I want to write down every moment and record it just as it happens, I can’t bring myself to do it, knowing I will inevitably miss things or record them wrong. And the reason that later, I avoid reading what I’ve written.
Because it hurts. We cannot hang on to the way things were, or even the way they are right now. I’ve heard it said that the only constant in life is change. Perhaps I have become more aware of this since having children, because they (and thus the family’s experience) change so rapidly. There’s no going back; every moment is a fleeting one.
It’s also the reason, that we keep busy enough to distract ourselves from the passing of time. A decade may be over in a blink, without much thought or reflection. From a short-term perspective, it’s easier this way. Eventually, though, the feelings we have ignored may catch up with us. When the kids move out, perhaps. When we sell the house. Or retire. Or when death approaches. A large, jarring change yanks us from the steady rhythm of our lives, and suddenly, we become aware of 1000+ minor adjustments that have led to this point. Maybe this is partly why we cry at momentous occasions, when we are forced to stop and take notice: graduations, weddings. Births. Funerals.
I used to work with elderly people in personal care homes. Depression there was rampant, because time had caught up. Things were not the way they were.
And, no, they’re not. They never are. They never will be again. They are, in a way, lost.
And that, I believe, is what hurts so badly.
But according to what the Bible teaches, God is outside of time. He created it, and is therefore not bound by it. He counts our hairs, and saves our tears, and writes down the times of our lives in His book – just like I try to do with my kids.
This softens the blow, when I view a photo or read something from years ago, and feel that sharp pang of loss. It gives me the courage to continue recording, in my meager way, the history of my family.
Although the joy of our earthly moments may diminish, change, or dissipate the moment we glance away, these moments are also important to God. And He remembers them all.
They are not lost. They are entrusted, to the One who gave them, in the first place.
“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30
“Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll – are they not in your record?” Psalm 56:8
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16b
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4
Do you find it painful to reminisce? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.