15time  I don’t think my baby is a baby anymore.

He just had his first birthday. He’s walking, playing, bouncing, taking more risks, eating, holding his cup, pushing our dining room chairs around, waving bye-bye and growling like our dog, all on his own. It seems like just yesterday he was relying on my husband and me for everything, but time just keeps flying by, and he’s becoming more and more independent.

But that’s exactly what’s supposed to be happening, right? Time is supposed to pass. People, no matter how young or old, are supposed to grow. Hopefully, we never stop growing, learning or developing.

Kids are a great reminder of that. They grow so fast, exponentially even, in what seems like such a short amount of time. We’re left reeling from the speed of the swirling hands of life’s timepiece, wondering where the time has gone. I’m only a year into parenthood and I already feel like it keeps slipping away faster than I can document what it brings.

This realization of how little time we have here on earth, and how none of it is actually guaranteed, has been weighing on me. How am I using my time? What am I teaching my son? What am I doing to love my husband and my family better? What useless things have I allowed to take up precious time I could be spending with people I love? What people in my life have I neglected because I’m on my phone? Am I teaching my son by example that health is important? Am I showing him that people are to be valued and respected?

Recently, I received a thought-provoking text that read, “Do you want your children to be like you when they reach the age you are?”

The reality is, there’s a good chance they will be. I’ll be honest with you — there are some things I hope he catches onto in my life, but there’s quite a few more I hope he doesn’t. The whole “Do as I say, not as I do” thing rarely works, and if it does, it is usually not without resentment, bitterness and rebellion. That mentality is just a fancy form of hypocrisy.

Jesus talked about this. In John 13, we find the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Feet were dirty back then— people wore sandals and walked everywhere, and water was a precious commodity. Servants were usually the ones doing the washing, so this was a pretty astonishing act on Jesus’ part. Peter, one of his disciples, even refused at first to let Jesus wash his feet.

But Jesus said, “Do you understand what I have done for you? ... You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:12-17).

So, I want to be the person I hope my son becomes. It has to begin today. I must lead by example. I must love by example. I must fill my life things that matter so that my son will one day be able to lead this kind of life — a life of servant leadership, regarding others as more important than ourselves.

Today is gift and it will be over soon. How will you spend your today?

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