Last night, Amanda and I took advantage of my mom’s willingness to babysit both our girls for a few hours, and we headed out to the “theatre” to catch “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” It was the first time the two of us had been anywhere by ourselves since…well, since our NY trip, I guess. It was, in a word, very nice.
I won’t spoil the movie for any of you that haven’t seen it. It was actually really good, but a bit depressing. The basic plot (ok, maybe I will spoil it) is about a man named Benjamin (played by Brad Pitt, ladies) who was born “old”, yet instead of dying as everyone suspects, he begins to grow younger. So, you can imagine the plot as an child in an old man’s body becomes and old man in a child’s body. Not exactly happy-go-lucky stuff, but I’d recommend the flick. Maybe it was just my mood, coming off a year like we had. Maybe it was the fact that I am supremely worn out, and I’m coming OFF vacation. Maybe it was the fact that I’m tired. Whatever, it hit me. Hard.
See, the movie, like all really good movies, hits you in the heart. It makes you think about all the things you wish you could’ve done…all the things you hoped to do, but didn’t…or couldn’t…or wouldn’t. You see, what got me most was Benjamin has a daughter, but has to leave her and her mother because he’s growing young, and he wanted his girl to have a dad. Well, coming off the insanity of the last year, I feel like an absentee father to my girls. I feel like I’ve failed them in the process of trying to provide. (Any dads resonate with that one?) I haven’t been home to tuck Caroline in at night and tell her stories. I haven’t been there to talk to her about Jesus. I haven’t been there when she scraped her knees. I haven’t been there when she needed a dad. And Hannah, bless her heart, looks at me like I’m a stranger half the time, since in her 7 weeks, she’s probably seen me a total of 2 days.
I know, I’ve got it made. I’ve been convicted of my whining around here lately. Compared to men who have been in Iraq or Afghanistan for months, even years, and have never seen their kids, my troubles are NOTHING. Yet, as a good friend told me the other night, each of our problems are relative to our situation. I can’t really grasp what you’re going through, and neither can you fully grasp my situation.
But the cumulative totals of the past year are weighing on me, coupled with the expectations of the coming year. People always say “God won’t put more on you than you can bear.” Well, the Scripture they’re referring to is 1 Corinthians 10:13. Technically, that’s talking about temptation, which is a whole ‘nother post.
Because right now? I’m not sure we could take much more. And Lord, I don’t want to find out.