My dad is going to be 88 in May. He has a curious habit that surfaces twice a year. In the spring and in the fall he makes a special effort to be sure he tells all of us to remember to fall back or spring forward. He never, ever misses a single time-change.
In recent years we have tried to tell him that we are all continually tethered to our phones and they will not allow us to not spring forward or fall back. He does not listen but insists on telling us to be sure we are not late for church or too early…
As our nest started to empty out I think I began to understand the motive behind his persistent habit. Lois and I have four sons and four daughters. They used to sit all in one row every Sunday morning all spiffed up for church. Now they live all over the country. Most of them have children of their own.
All of them are Christians. All of them have churches. Two of them are pastors. Still when Saturday night and Sunday morning roll around I have a powerful longing to know that they are getting ready to gather with God’s people and give him thanks.
I want to know our grandchildren will know all the Jesus stories and all the Bible verses. I want to know they will have the Jesus songs in their hearts. I want to know that though we are far apart, one day maybe soon we will all be together in the presence of Jesus singing together at the foot of the Throne of the Slain Lamb.
I don’t want to be too direct, so I suppose when I’m an old man I will try to think of creative ways to say… “You guys are all planning to be on time for church tomorrow, right? Don’t forget to gather the family and gather with others and give Jesus what he deserves on the Lord’s Day tomorrow. Don’t be late. I love you.”
Oh, Mom and Dad. Thanks for the reminder to spring forward and fall back. I see what you did there.