Slippery When Wet
I know that this really sounds like a crazy name for a post, but I guarantee you that our three children; Kristin, Jill and Andrew, won’t even need to read the rest of this to know what I am telling them tonight. But before I share this with the rest of you, it is important for me to give you the backstory.
It all started this morning. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that my post yesterday was about how different people worship. It was titled, “Can I Get an Amen?” And several of you brought a smile to my face by sending me one word e-mails – “Amen,” of course. Thank you – I really got a kick out of that! So when I received a note from my cousin Lynn this morning, I was expecting something similar; except she let me know that yesterday’s verse, from Romans 8, struck a chord with her. Because Lynn read Romans 8 to my mother the week that Mom died. I never knew that, and it immediately took me back to remembrances of my mother.
So throughout the morning and afternoon, I had periodic memories of things that Mom taught me. I even wondered how many things about Mom I didn’t know. For example, my brother Doug called me last night to ask what year Mom graduated from Northwestern University. I had an idea, but he thought I was off a year – because Mom apparently attended the University of Chicago for a year before she transferred to Northwestern, and started her college career over again. I never knew that; and it kind of bothered me. I think I got a little stuck in the past processing all this stuff that has come to my attention the last several days.
Anyway, it’s been two long days. A trip up to Chicago and back yesterday to visit several vendors for a client of mine here in Indy; and then today, another long day with bank meetings and operational issues for another local client. I was thinking about all this tonight as I was running a final errand before heading back home.
I was in the car, the light mist had turned into a steady rain, and I was approaching a stop sign on a beautiful stretch of road lined with overhanging trees. It’s a little early still, but it’s getting to that time of year when the trees are starting to lose their first leaves, and as the car came to a stop, it slid a bit. Immediately, I felt the need to call the kids and remind them that fall is approaching and to be careful when they drive. Leaves are slippery when wet. It is tough to describe the way I felt – almost an overwhelming desire to make those calls. But I didn’t. Why? Because I knew they were already home for the evening, and I would issue my annual warning through this post…..
But the bigger question in my mind is why I would even think to call them about such a weird thing. It didn’t take long to know the answer. Because Mom used to call me and warn me about the same thing the beginning of each fall. Each year of my life – for as long as she lived, I used to look forward to that call. I got used to it. I think I rested in knowing that Mom was still there, being a mom, and was still concerned about the little things in my life – even as a full grown man. And here I am – with three kids in their 30’s, and I still worry about them sliding on the wet leaves as well. I don’t even know that any of them think about this yearly ritual, like I used to – until I call them. But I feel better now, kind of…. I still have the urge to call them, but maybe this post will do the trick.
In honor of mothers and fathers everywhere, the verse tonight comes from Proverbs 1:8, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Sure, there are plenty of things that I didn’t listen to; but I miss that both my parents are gone and no longer can provide any kind of real time advice. My encouragement tonight is to listen to those people in your life who love and care about you. And my prayer is that we will all be wiser, and our lives enriched beyond words, by following the advice of God, and his Son, Jesus Christ. Because even when the small moments come, and we’re not so sure the message is important, we should listen up. Always, our Father knows best.
Finally, confession time. I couldn’t stand it any longer. No, I didn’t break down and call any of the kids. Kristin is certainly in bed; and I know Jill and Andrew will read the post by early morning before they get behind the wheel of their cars. But I texted them…… 😉