This week, we are teetering on a seesaw, trying to balance two things:
Squeezing out every last drop of summer fun
Getting ourselves prepared for school to restart.
That means letting the kids sleep in and finalizing reading logs one day.
It means final trips to the water park and the beach and getting back-to-school hair cuts.
Today, my son hopped up into the chair for his trim and the lady cutting his hair asked, “Are you going to preschool soon?”
He said, “No. They don’t have preschool here.”
This is not a good sign since he is in fact going to preschool for the first time ever and it starts in just two weeks.
At first, when we had conversations with him about preschool, he seemed pretty excited.
We bought him a Lego Batman backpack and, after all, what more could you need when heading to school for the first time? A favorite superhero on a backpack pretty much guarantees academic success.
But when we talked about school, I’d say, “You get to go to preschool this year! Yay!
He’d nod his head knowingly and say, “Yes. I am. I’m going to ride on the bus with Catherine.”
At which point, I would backpedal for some clarification.
His heart has been longing to get on that big yellow bus with his sisters for all his little life. He’d sit on the front porch and cry and cry after his sisters left for the day.
Not just on the first day of school.
Not just for the month of September.
But months and months into the school year our mornings would still be a little sad.
And now, it’s finally his turn to go to school. Hurray!
Only, not with the girls on the bus. No, Catherine will go on the bus to her school and Andrew will ride in mom’s minivan to his school.
After a few weeks of repeatedly having this exact same back-and-forth conversation, he finally came up with a new answer.
“Are you ready for preschool?”
“No. They don’t have preschool here.”
He thinks that’s the end of the whole deal. There’s no preschool, which means he doesn’t have to go anywhere different from where his big sisters get to go.
What this really about, of course, is timing.
To him, it feels like he’s waited an eternity for his chance to ride on that bus and two more years of waiting is just too long.
For me, it feels like he should still be sleeping in a crib and drinking a bottle.
How in the world is my baby going to preschool?
The truth is that his time will come. The season of bus rides and elementary classrooms, homework and reading logs will be here.
It’s just not yet.
And we all can probably relate to feeling oh so ready for the future promise that will indeed come, but is frustratingly not yet.
We can strive and work our hardest to make the “not yet” happen right now.
We can do everything right. Do what the “successful” people do. We can check every checkbox and fulfill every requirement.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV).
There is a season for rides to preschool in the minivan and there is a season for bus trips to the elementary school.
It takes so much pressure off of us when we accept our “now” and stop pushing for the “not yet.”
We don’t stress in prayer or nudge God repeatedly trying to get what we want. We don’t have to feel inadequate, like we’re not measuring up or accomplishing enough for our families or for our faith.
Even Jesus always walked carefully in God’s will and also in God’s timing.
When pushed to minister ahead of schedule, he’d say,
My time has not yet come (John 7:6) or “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4)
Jesus knew that the when of God’s will is as important as the what.
Maybe God has indeed told us “no.”
Or perhaps what He is saying is simply “not yet.”
Knowing the difference can change our heart. We needn’t mourn or grieve. We needn’t stress or grow weary fighting.
Instead, we can rest and relax and allow God to give us the beauty of “now” while trusting Him with what is still yet to come.