Sometimes, I can get really hard on myself for not following through with the goals I set. One of the hardest things by far was when last year came to and end and I hadn’t taken the time to share with my boys all the things God was laying on my heart.
There were a few books that really impacted me, books that deal with this crazy upside down culture and our role as Jesus-followers in it; I wanted to impart it all to them. If you have kids, you know the feeling: I want them to get this! I want them to understand this! If they can just see through all this nonsense to the truth… maybe they won’t fall for the lies… maybe they will be different…
I spend a lot of time floundering around in the sad reality that we live in a world that is basically amusing itself to death, sacrificing everything meaningful for superficial “likes” and virtual approval from total strangers. This isn’t the world I grew up in, and it’s hard for me to relate to how deeply this affects them sometimes. The things I struggled with seem like small potatoes compared to what my kids have already seen first-hand.
YouTube influencers confound me. Idol-worship of people so completely in love with themselves makes me cringe. The absence of the ability to think for oneself scares me. G.K. Chesterton said, “We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with news that the grass is green.”
We are there, and sometimes, I feel like an eighty-year-old grandmother who can’t adjust to the times. The reality, though, is that I am a Jesus-follower and a parent who is charged with discipling two young men in a world turned inside-out. The reality is that God never changes even when culture does. The truth is, in the past, I have let it overwhelm me to the point of inaction.
It’s so much easier to just cruise on through the days dealing with things as they come but never really being intentional about getting to the heart of it all. What’s that old saying? “The days are long but the years are short.” It’s true.
Suddenly, I have a sophomore. In a moment, he will be out on his own. A minute after that, his brother will follow. What do I want them to hear from me before they go? We spend our time doing the best we can, telling them what not to do, lecturing them on the dangers that lurk behind every corner, but are we giving them something to actually live for?
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint” (ESV). We have to have a vision from God, something positive and promising to go after if we are going to really live. Without it, we just run wild without any direction or intent. This explains why “good” kids do really dumb things. Adults, too, for that matter.
So this morning, I decided to just get going. I sat down and began a little folder for each of my boys. I don’t really have a well-thought-out plan, and that’s ok. The problem I encountered last year is that I had so much I wanted to share that I didn’t share anything. I couldn’t organize my thoughts, so I did nothing.
Today, I started with this verse about having a vision. Seemed like something good for young men to hear. I crudely typed out some thoughts, printed them out, and stuck the papers in a folder for each of them. I boldly asked for 20 minutes of their time, which, in a world where friends and online games rule the day, is a bigger deal than it may seem. We started. They were mildly interested, and that’s ok. I hope we can build on it.
We put too much pressure on getting things just right before we start anything and wind up doing nothing. I liken our time today to the first time a person exercises in a while… kind of a hot mess but better than nothing. Little moments of faithfulness every day, like exercise or a good daily vitamin, are worth far more than sporadic moments here and there.
I have a vision based on God’s promises, and that gives me hope that we can grow together in His wisdom. It’s never too late. There will be eye rolls along the way to be sure, there will be dramatic whining and bad attitudes at times, and that’s ok. It won’t be perfect, but with time and faithfulness, I hope that they can have a prophetic vision all their own to keep chasing after.
Featured Image by Benjamin Davies