Several weeks ago, the 2008 high school graduates were recognized during our church service. As the youth pastor made his way to the platform to introduce each of the seniors to the congregation, I was on the edge of my seat.
I LOVED high school and fondly remember all the excitement that went along with graduation. As I watched these young people sitting in the front row, dressed in caps and gowns, I smiled from ear to ear, considering the promise and possibilities awaiting each one in the next decade of his/her life.
Then the first young man's name was read. As he got up from his seat and made his way to the front of the church, the large video screens behind the pulpit flashed a picture of this graduate as a young boy.
Immediately (and to my great surprise), tears filled my eyes and a huge lump lodged itself in my throat. Barely able to breathe, I turned to my husband and said, "I don't think I'm going to make it through this!"
The slideshow continued, showing the boy progress from toddler to boy to teen to young man in just under 10 seconds. The same kind of pictorial tribute was given to each of the next 20 or so students, as he or she walked across the stage to the delightful cheers of friends, family and classmates.
"No, no, no!" I thought to myself. "It all went too quickly! He was just a little boy!"
When I was a kid, I clearly remember making fun of my own mom for crying over McDonald's commercials or when she heard the song "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof.
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
But in that moment, I was in a complete state of wistful emotions, wondering why it all had to go by so fast. I eventually reassured myself as I glanced at the nursery pager sitting next to a juice box in my purse. "Drew is only three years old. You have fifteen years before you'll be watching your boy walk across that stage."
When we picked our son up from the nursery later, he handed me his coloring sheet, and told me about his Bible story. He then asked my husband, "How was your class today, Daddy?"
As I watched my husband and son walking out to the car together, it occurred to me that graduation day will come all too soon.
For as the last stanza of the song observed:
Swiftly flow the years.