“Papang, can I have five more minutes to play before we leave?”…
I am often confronted with this request from my children whenever I pick them up from school every afternoon. The request to stay in school a little longer evokes from me mixed feelings.
On the one hand, I am glad that they love their school — Cradle of Joy Centre for Learning. On the other hand, I kind of wonder, perhaps in my mid-life crisis sentimentality, if my arrival in their school every afternoon was good news or bad news to them.
Then I realized, that in much the same way, people perhaps have the same attitude when it comes to Christ’s return, whether it be His daily coming into our lives or His second coming someday.
Some people get so attached to life that the arrival of Christ is not so good news to them. Perhaps that’s why people avoid death or any talk of it. Perhaps that’s why people do not take the signs of our times seriously. Perhaps that’s why we try to hold on to life as much as we can.
But among my four children, my youngest Marco has a different reaction whenever I arrive. The moment he sees me at the gate of the school, he drops everything he’s doing, runs up to me and gives me a tight embrace. In a blink of an eye, he gives up his turn on the slide; he gives up the swing; he turns away from his playmates, and yes — welcomes me with open arms.
Then I can’t help asking myself: Will I have the same reaction when Christ comes?
You see, Marco’s reaction was typical of a 2 year old. Nothing is more important to him than seeing his dad. I am his world. But as children grow older like my 3 other children, their worlds expand. Somehow, dad is no longer their world but just becomes a part of that world. Not bad, mind you, it’s really just part of growing up.
But the tragic thing is this: This can also be true with many of us when it comes to our faith.
The older we get, our world expands. Our world becomes filled with careers to manage, bills to pay, dreams to achieve, marriages to keep, and children to raise.
God simply becomes just a part of it, if at all.
And then cancer strikes. Or a near-death car accident happens. Or your precious marriage falls apart. Or losing a child.
Then you begin to wonder: Where is God in my life now?
This Advent season, we are reminded that Christ will come to us. May we be like Marco, excited and eager, dropping everything and running to His tight embrace.
The Bible says that we should be eagerly awaiting Christ’s return:
“…we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20)
Let Him be your world — now and always.
A blessed first week of Advent to you, my friend!