I was particularly reminded of that over the last 4 days.
My wife, 2 daughters, and I enjoyed a much needed mini-vacation in Asheville, NC. It wasn’t the most extravagant or spectacular excursion we’ve been on, but it was one of our best.
I guess this one stuck out because of the significant milestones surrounding it.
Wifey and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this year. My oldest daughter turned 17, and is a rising senior in high school. My youngest daughter is turning 9 in less than a month, and is already in the middle of puberty.
I saw these different dynamics play out in subtle ways when we got adventurous and took on a treetop obstacle course.
I watched my 17 year old fly thru the course ahead of the rest of us…independent and on her own. I saw my youngest daughter become frozen with fear at certain points, but then muster up the courage to walk across rope bridges and suspended logs that were 15 feet in the air. I saw how comfortable my wife and I were at poking fun at each other, stealing flirtatious glances here and there when the kids weren’t paying attention…and sometimes smooching right in front of them just to get on their nerves.
After the course, it just sort of hit me how rapidly my life is changing right before my eyes.
I mean, intellectually I know that things are always changing…but I guess this is one of those instances where time temporarily stopped being a blur. It’s amazing that it takes those moments where time “slows down” for us to notice how fast time is actually going.
It also hit me that, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to “play catch up” with the time that I’ve lost.
Unfortunately, time isn’t one of those things that can be recovered when it’s gone. That really stinks..because I can think of a plethora of moments in my life where I know that I’ve completely misused my time.
On the way back to our truck, even though I masked it from my wife and daughters, I felt a huge wave of regret begin to wash over me. And just as I thought it would drown me, I was snatched out of the deep by the realization that this regret wave was hindering me from the amazing time that I was having with my girls right then.
At that moment, I had a choice to make. Either drown in regret…or live in the moment. Wallow in the time I had already lost…or bask in the beauty of the smiles on my wife and daughters’ faces. Thankfully, I listened to God and chose door number 2.
I doubt anyone reading this will get some deep life-changing epiphany about their own lives. But I do hope that there is a measure of comfort in this: trying to “play catch up” with time will get you nowhere fast.
Don’t miss out on what’s right in front of you.