Our eight year old has always faced life with gusto. She’s the one that pushed the boundaries of life so far that I had to stop taking her places to maintain my sanity. She’s the one that invaded our bathroom and made a molecular monolayer out of two pounds of lotion, and could fill the house with a baking flour fog if I turned my back for five minutes. She’s the one that takes the Golden Rule so seriously that often her little sisters cry in protest because she forces them to be treated the way she wants to be treated. And she remembers vividly the first time she saw her new baby brother as a peanut with a beating heart on the sonogram screen. No one had to tell her it was a baby, and anyone in a half-mile radius knew it instantly.
As kids with active imaginations are wont to do, she talks a lot, and many soliloquies blur past the ears of overloaded parents, but sometimes a nugget will grip my attention. As I was turning on the oven the other night, she said she figured out something. “If one person missed one second of their life, the world would not be complete.” What was that?
How many grown-ups forget what it was like to first realize the profundity of passing time, something before and beyond us that marches on, rhythmically, whether we want it to or not. Our hearts beat until we die, yet, not a single heart beat has occupied the exact same time and space ever. Not only is our world continually moving along in time, it is continually moving, period. Time passed and things moved since you read the title of this piece, and this word.
God holds us in existence. If He forgot about any one of us for even a single fraction of a fraction of a femtosecond, all of us would cease to exist forever. Please God give me the eyes of an awed child no matter how old I get. Show me the joy in every second, even if piles of pain and fear threaten to smoother it. We’re part of a grand scheme, and my daughter is right – every second of our lives is necessary for this scheme. If even a second were lost, the world would not be the same exact world as it is now. Try to appreciate them all, if only in hindsight.