Interesting word, bittersweet. It really is descriptive of many events in life. Today I'm in a bittersweet mood. After a week of spring break, my three grandkids from AL headed out with their Nana to meet up with their parents some six hours up the road. I'm conflicted because, as interim pastor of a church with planned activities today, I can't go with them. Also, I'm conflicted because, although I enjoyed having them here, I clearly realized why God gives children to the young. My patience was tried daily, and my responses were more often reactions. I remember hearing Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, say one time "The second greatest sight in the world is seeing your grandkids come up the walk from the car to your house. The greatest sight is seeing them go down the walk, back to the car." As much as I wanted to make a positive impression on them, I'm afraid that I missed the mark because of constantly correcting or disciplining them. Having grown up seeing my grandparents almost daily, I've always fretted with being so far removed from the daily lives of my grandkids.
Perhaps the best thing I can do is continue to pray through their lives. I started a prayer notebook for each of the seven "grandies" years ago and have been adding to them periodically. On their 12th birthday I'm giving them the notebook and encouraging them to begin to journal their prayers in the balance of the notebook. So far I've only had one reach that milestone. I'm praying today for a safe return home for them and for my wife as she drives the final six hours home alone. I'll not really rest today until I know that they are all safe a home.