To me, three weeks is a blip; a hiccup, a momentary interruption.
But to my daughter, three weeks is a major setback.
My 19 year old daughter Amy is set to head back to Australia for a full year internship at the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) base where she attended a six-month Disciple Training School session last year. She should have been there by now, but her visa application has been hitting some snags along the way. Now, just when we thought her application had cleared the final hurdle we’d received news that there was one more delay. She wouldn’t be able to leave for three more weeks.
My leadership hat processed this as a bend in the road, a mere change in plans. But as a dad, the crushing disappointment on my little girl’s face was heartbreaking. And I realized I had a choice to make about how I would approach these three weeks. Was it a bend in the road? Was it a crushing blow? Or was it a gift; one more opportunity to invest precious time with my little girl before she leaves.
Processing all this I glanced at my calendar and realized it would be hard to carve out ‘quality time’ with Amy because of a ministry trip I’d be taking next week, with stops in Winnipeg, Halifax and Moncton, before wrapping up in…
I called my wife Nora and bounced an idea off her. “Go for it!” she said.
I picked up the phone and called Amy. “Hey Ames…How’d you like to spend a few days with me in Montreal next week?”
“Sweet!” (I think that means, “I’d love to!”)
And so it is that we’ll get this one last opportunity for dad-and-daughter time before she goes. We’ll wander the streets of Old Montreal. We’ll talk. We’ll joke. We’ll remember.
Three weeks. A blip? A heartbreak?
No. An opportunity. For which I’m grateful.