Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Parental Math

My favorite time of the day is the evening time, when all the activities are done, and it is just my family of five all snuggled in for the rest of the day.  Even if we aren't doing anything but hanging out, watching TV, or reading, I love knowing that all my little chicks are right where they are supposed to be, and no one is going anywhere anytime soon.  

My class this semester is every Monday morning from 9-12:30.  Three and a half hours, it can be a long morning.  Of course, half way through class, we stop, as does every other class at the seminary, and we go to chapel.  Yes, chapel.  We have a chapel service right in the middle of our day.  I don't know if this is normal or not, I've never been to seminary before, but this is the way my seminary does it.  

Yesterday, the seminary president gave the message.   He spoke on the prodigal son, he did a great job on a story we have all heard a fair number of times.  But then he shared an excerpt from a book he had recently read.  I honestly don't know the name of the book (I thought I did, but when I googled it, I couldn't find it), the focus of the book was on what the author called "Parental Math".

The author of this unknown book, shared the story of taking his first of five children to college.  A college located over 300 miles from their home.  He very eloquently spoke of his feelings the night before they left knowing that everyone was there in his house, sleeping right where they were supposed to be.  He spoke of how fun it was the day they drove up to the college and and he and his wife and son camped out in 2 adjoining hotel rooms, talking back and forth from their beds.  How different it was the next night when it was just he and his wife at the hotel and their son was spending his very first night in his dorm room, how quiet the hotel room was and how much they already missed him.  Then he so very sweetly expressed how hard it was to go home, and spend that first night in their house with four of their children instead of all 5.  He said it was still noisy, it was still loud, there was still laughter and teasing and all the things that made their family so close, but one child was missing and in parental math 5-1= not nearly enough.

I totally get that!!!  I love that my children are in the age of play dates and sleepovers.   I love having a house full of kids and friends and I love those moments when my kids are all playing elsewhere, but nothing, NOTHING beats having all 5 members of my family under the same roof.  5-1= not enough.  

That is how God feels about each one of us.  Yes he has thousands of children but it doesn't matter. Because 1000s-1=not enough.  He misses that one so dearly that even the best moments aren't quite as sweet when that one is missing.  If you are that one that is missing, you need to know how much he loves you!  He STILL loves you and misses you!  And he wants nothing more, NOTHING more than to have all his children at home with him, all under one roof.  That is parental math.