Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you.” Paul Young
It’s a tradition that breathed deeply again this morning as our younger Granddaughter, Ellie Kate, was to return home after spending a few days with us in Gainesville. Lynda and I usually participate with our basset hound Lily, but today it was just Lily and me since Lynda was leaving with Ellie Kate to meet her Daddy midway between here and Tampa.
I watched, braved a smile, and returned their wave with my fingers displaying the universal “I love you” symbol, as the car carrying them slowly pulled away from me and made its way down the street until it turned the distant curve from sight. That was my cue to kick the next stage of our tradition into gear, as I ran through the garage into the kitchen, called to Lily, who bounded out of her chair and followed me out the back door across the side yard to the fence bordering the golf course.
In just a moment the car taking them away would appear on the roadway on the other side of the fairway, with horn honking, a little voice yelling (with Hannah—it’s two little voices) as loud as she could through the open window into the chilly morning air “I love you! I love you!” while Lily and I waved, barked and whistled across the golf course fairway from our position at the fence.
When out-of-sight and the little shrieks of “I love you” no longer reached our ears, we turned with heads slightly bowed to return to the house, leaving a little piece of our hearts somewhere between that fence and the car driving off—with whichever members of our family were leaving us at that moment—Lynda, children, granddaughters. The feeling is the same. They always take a little piece of us with them.
I have never understood parents or grandparents who didn’t try to see their children and grandchildren as much as possible. I certainly have never understood the line I’ve heard from some “grandparents” that the best thing about grandchildren is that you can give them back to their parents. I question whether they deserve a visit at all. Certainly makes you wonder what kind of messages those gifts from God are hearing while they’re with them. Makes me wonder what kind of parents they were, or perhaps, weren’t.
Lynda and I never want them to leave—our Granddaughters, their Mommy and Daddy, or even our “granddog” Jackson. Our children and Granddaughters know that about us, accept it and actually expect it. It took me many years to get there, coming from a place where family didn’t matter that much. But Lynda and Lynda’s family by their example made it abundantly clear to me and our children the importance and meaning of family, real family beyond simply blood, and the joy family brings, along with the pain that is always felt when any separation occurs.
It’s a part of the abundant life God envisioned and planned for each of us.
It is a matter of the priorities we choose for our life. It’s a part of the legacy God intended for each of us to have—which has nothing to do with things or accomplishments or what part of the country you were raised in, or whether that’s the way you were raised as a child, or not.
Through a faith in God, His Son makes our priorities clear—a relationship with Him and then family. And if we follow those priorities, and move past cynicism or apathy, past insecurity, past “the past”, and into a world of wholeness in Christ, we enter into the abundant life we were meant to live. Into the abundant life which Christ came to offer us. Into a wholeness which at times leaves a hole in our hearts when loved ones leave us—for a moment or longer.
It’s sad, really, that too many spend their whole life either not caring, or not getting over what was done to them, or looking for the abundant life, for significance beyond the priorities Christ sets before those who claim to believe in Him. It’s sad, really, that they set aside the most important of all relationships after a relationship with Him—family. And as a result, they will never fully realize the abundant life God intended for them to have. Never.
If that’s been your life, don’t let that define your life for one more day.
Instead let your life be defined by a relationship with Him, which moves you to a relationship with family where you can honestly say to them…
“Every time you go away you take a piece of me with you.”
Then, and only then, will you begin to experience the life of significance and abundance Christ intended for you to have.
Today, tomorrow and for all the rest of your days.
In His Name—Scott