The Show

November 20, 2023

“Alexa, play waltz music.”

“Alexa, play a ninja song.”

“Alexa, play ‘only a boy named David’.”

It doesn’t fail. These requests directed to our smart device are usually voiced in the evening, after supper is finished. They often come when we haven’t even emptied the table of dirty plates and leftovers and when our yearning for a swift and expeditious bedtime increases. Yet, when they do, they are often accompanied with eager invitations to mom and dad to come and see a show. I am ashamed to say, at least speaking for myself, that I do not always want to comply. I am tired, and I am eager to free myself from my eldest’ sweet little shackles (aka get her to bed) so that I may finally do what I want to do. Which isn’t usually what’s actually important, but what is stressing me out. It’s funny, or maybe just terribly sad, to realize that we often organize our day, and choose to do what we do in it, not based on what is actually valuable and important to us, but based on what feels urgent and stressful. I want to run to my office or messy basement and get stuff done, but an invisible hand, or my wife’s wise but threatening eyes, move me to the living room and make me sit down.

There, I find Sophie. Sometimes, she is wearing her ballet outfit, or her pink royal princess costume, or a mixture of both. Sometimes, she wears her thermal, long sleeved, black pajamas which she swears make her look like an invisible dark ninja of the night. Sometimes, she is dressed like David the young shepherd, collecting smooth stones from the river in preparation to slay Goliath. No matter what, there is joy and excitement in her eyes. After a brief explanation of what is about to happen, and sometimes we as parents have a part to play (at the very least, by clapping on cue or by making sure little sister’s enthusiastic assistance is prevented), the show begins.

When it does, I am proven a fool. I also fall deeper in love with that five year old human I call my daughter. As the music plays, she proceeds to dance with the grace and passion of a ballet dancer performing in front of thousands. Other times, she begins to sneak around the living room ready to take out an army of bad guys, while breaking a few dance moves. Last but not least, she begins to swing a scarf in the air, ready to take out any and all Goliaths that dare to insult the Living God. And her mother and I just watch her. I promise you, it is the best show on earth. Even though I was reluctant to attend, I know now that there is nowhere else I would rather be than in this blessed audience of three. And, judging by Sophie’s face, there is no one else for whom she would rather perform than for us three.

This brings me to the following realization: time invested in people is never wasted. With people, loving and being loved, is how time is best used. The trick is that such time rarely ever looks grandiose or spectacular. Because of it, we judge it by its appearance and dim it unnecessary, prioritizing instead more spectacular times like birthdays, holidays and wedding anniversaries. Yet, at least in my experience, time that isn’t forgotten, time that conquers time, lasting in our memories and changing us from the inside out, is time that often seems irrelevant. The living room show of a five year old for its exhausted family, the conversation of two sleepy parents sharing a bathroom, an honest and warm smile after a confusing sermon, a chocolate bar celebrated like a feast fit for kings by a hungry and moody family that is grocery shopping… You get the idea.

Time isn’t primarily conquered by heroic and spectacular occasions. It is conquered by any time in which we give and receive the love of Jesus. A love that takes unconditional delight in the other. A love that prioritizes the other instead of self. A love that rests in the love of the Father. A love that gives our relationships, to our Creator and to one another, new meaning. A love that opens the doors of eternity. For that kind of time, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.



“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1).

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