Parents: This life is not a dress rehearsal.

I’m forward thinking—always thinking about the future. It’s part of how God has wired me.

But there’s a downside to having this tendency. I’m constantly thinking about what’s next, which makes it hard for me to relish what’s happening now.

As all three of our kids are settling into their winter, it’s easy for me to look ahead to next week’s homework assignments, next month’s volleyball games, and next year’s AP exams.

So this season, I’m trying to remember a great phrase one of my friends mentioned to me a few years ago:

This life is not a dress rehearsal.

I’m not practicing or preparing for something better that lies ahead. This is it. This is all we get. And now that our oldest is almost 18 years old, I’m all too aware of how fast time flies.

Let’s cherish the moments we have with young people. This is all we get.

So as you love and serve young people in your home or church, remember to take advantage of TODAY.

That last minute run to the drugstore with your middle schooler to buy a poster board for a school project? That conversation with a high school senior stressed about college admission deadlines?  Those are the moments that matter. Those are the moments that add up to total our life.

These are the hours and days we have. I want you and I to savor them to the fullest.


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Originally posted on the Fuller Youth Institute blog
Photo by Pranam Gurung