So, one of the things I love doing as a dad is putting my kids on the bus in the morning for school. I used to miss out on this when I was still working for a large corporation but now that I am full time in ministry, my schedule has allowed me to be the one walking my rugrats down the driveway nearly every morning.
Sometimes it can be rather hectic trying to get our two oldest children out the door in time to make it on the bus. They have quite a lot of their dad in them and tend to be easily distracted. I can't just tell them one time to get their shoes on and grab their backpacks. If i did they would never get them. I usually make a song up of whatever items they need to grab and sing it to them until they are ready to go. "Shoes and backpacks, shoes and backpacks, here we go, here we go", (Sing that to the tune of London Bridges).
Ultimately no matter how stressful it can be, I still love doing it because the time i get with my kids out in the driveway waiting for the cheese wagon to come and whisk them away to school is priceless to me. It only lasts a few minutes but I will remember the hugs, kisses and conversations for the rest of my life.
As part of our usual morning routine, when we see the bus coming I take the kids by the hand and stand closer to the end of the driveway. We wait until the bus comes to a stop and the driver has waved us to cross and I walk them on over and help them take the first few steps up onto the bus. Just recently though, my wonderful little routine with my two oldest children came crashing down like a house of cards.
My daughter told me they were big kids and could walk across without me.
I was rattled and found it hard to breathe for a moment. I couldn't think clearly and felt slightly confused. When did this happen? How could this happen? I was shocked that my kids were suddenly grown up enough to walk across the road and get on the bus without me!
Before I could completely regain my composure, the bus was there and my kids were walking across the street. "I love you, be good", I called after them. Then I reminded them, "Walk Wide"! I wanted to make sure that they stayed out far enough that the driver could see them as they crossed the road.
Since that first unexpected morning, this has now become our new routine. One of the last things I call out to them is "Walk Wide". I have been thinking about that quite a bit lately. I have started to see it as a very prophetic message for my kids. They aren't meant to be hidden away from the world. God has called them to stand out and be a light in the darkness. They are called by God to spiritually "Walk Wide" and be seen.
So, even though I still hurt a little bit that they don't need me to cross the road anymore, I stand at the end of the driveway proud that my kids are walking wide and being seen.
Phillip Reed is the Associate Pastor of Faith Chapel Ministries. His passion is to reconcile the lost to their Heavenly Father.