With Christmas decorations comes the inevitable arrival of Christmas music… that to some people is pure joy. I think my sister-in-law, Lynn starts playing Christmas music some time in mid-August. Normally, I wait until about week before Christmas Day to start the music… but not this year. For some strange reason I have listened to more Christmas music than ever. I think it’s partially because one of my favorite bands (The Sidewalk Prophets) put out a new Christmas CD. Their song “Hey Moon” (video attached at the bottom of this post) is the best Christmas song I have heard in years.
Last night, like many other nights, I sat down in front of my computer to do some writing and do some editing of posts that I have written over the past month. Unfortunately, I found myself staring at a blank page in front of me. So I turned on some music for some inspiration. I like the music of MercyMe and I just sat in my office staring off into the abyss listening to them when the lyrics of one their songs hit me like a ton of bricks.
I love how it’s written from Joseph’s perspective. The new father singing a lullaby to the One that would soon change the world.
Joseph knew what was in store for the child. He knew the price that was going to be paid. He knew that this newborn son was born to die and pay the price for the sins of the world and that of mankind. He knew that this child was going to experience pain. The lyrics of this song really got to me tonight. Not just the song, but one line in particular. It gets me every single time.
The lyric is this….
For tonight, simply be my child.
I remember when my first-born, Nathan was born. I really thought I was prepared to be a father. In reality, I was nowhere near ready to take on the responsibility that soon would be mine. I am not sure anyone is truly prepared for the changes in life that happen when you first become a parent. My perspective in life changed in the micro-second of when I first touched and held him in my arms. I felt the same responsibility when my son Adam was born as well. For me, being a parent was something magical… something incredible. Your goals change and you realize that you are no longer here on earth living for yourself. You want to create this perfect world for your child, where they will forever be protected and not experience any pain or hurt in this life.
My sons are now 27 and 22 years old and the parent in me still wants to protect them. I still do not want any hurt or pain of this life to effect any of my children.
I cannot fathom or comprehend the emotions and thoughts of Joseph and Mary as they held this perfect child in their arms, knowing that he would carry the burden of the Cross of Calvary. Would it have been selfish of them to ask God to give them a break and allow Jesus to simply be their child for a brief moment? The father in me says no.
As Joseph and Mary understood that this perfect child was given by God to pay the price for mankind’s sin. They would not be able to protect him from what he was going to face. We as parents realize the same is true with our own children. We can help them and we can hope that the pain of this life passes by our children but we know that the inevitable is coming. It’s part of life… but that does not keep us as parents to stop trying to protect our children regardless of their age.
We have so many visions and dreams of what our children will be one day. We know early on what their potential is and having lived as long as we have on this earth, we also know the challenges in life which lie ahead for our children. We also know enough to accept the fact that there will be surprises too. As we watch them grow up in the various moments of life, we as parents, often think back to that simple line….
“Simply be my child”
I do not want and most assuredly I do not want my children to speed through the moments of life without having memories to look back on.
I am learning that as I grow older my memories are a lot like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, from personal experience, my advice to all of us would be to withdraw as much of the bitterness, anger and disappointment in your life while you can. Start depositing more family time memories, more contentment and less regret in the bank account of your memories. Because the world and all of its pain and challenges can wait. Soon enough there will be plenty of things that will steal our attention and time.
As we navigate the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season. Take time to make memories. Carve out moments and put the world and all it’s worries and pain on pause.
Allow your child to simply be your child.