I had a nightmare a couple of nights ago that my daughter got thrown off a horse and died. I screamed and ran over to where she was, covered in blood. Her body was in a position where she couldn’t possibly be alive. I felt unspeakable pain; then I abruptly woke up.
I splashed my face with cold water, and walked into the kitchen to make coffee. I looked through the dining room door to my six-year-old daughter, who was diligently doing her math, dressed in her night gown. She’s always the first one up.
But today I stopped. I drank in the moment. She’s alive. She’s still small. I haven’t missed anything. I walked over to her, hugged her tightly, and kissed her head.
Then I walked away, turned on the computer, and posted my blog entry for the day. I went to post it on Facebook, and there I saw my friends and what they were doing. Soon I was drawn in…
Half an hour later I realized I hadn’t had my coffee, so I walked back into the kitchen to pour it. Then I walked straight back to the computer.
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The next day I watched the movie “Secretariat,” which I had found on DVD at the library. My kids were munching popcorn as they watched the horses racing. But what struck me the most was an off-handed moment at a party, where the husband dances with his daughter who is all grown up now. And I saw my daughter grown up, and I started bawling that I had missed it.
My daughter is still six. She was cuddled up beside me, wondering why my eyes were watering, but I don’t want to miss her life, or the lives of my sons. I want to live.
I want to LIVE.
I don’t want to be sucked into the virtual world, the world that is online. Yes, God has called me to it, and He keeps putting things on my heart to write about. And yet where is the limit? Where is the boundary? How do I remind myself… Look, my kids are alive… My kids are here… I want to be present with them, to be living in the moment.
One of my sons was praying in the dark tonight, and I suddenly came up with the title “Virtual or Real?” I wanted to write it down before I forgot. But another son wanted to pray. I’m ashamed to say it, but I told my son, “God can hear you. Go ahead and pray without me. I need to write something down.” I closed the door and walked away.
I stopped halfway up the stairs and screamed in my soul, “No! This is exactly what I’m talking about!” In the dark, I ran back to my sons’ bedroom and opened the door.
“Are you still praying?”
“Yes,” said my son, and he continued his prayer. As soon as he finished, I said good night and shut the door. I paused and stared into the darkness.
(Stay tuned for part 2…)Tweet