Each will feed on the flesh of their own offspring:…(Is 9:20).
I often wonder how much of what we’re doing is not actually helping the younger generations, but hurting them. Are our parenting, church programs, extracurricular and sports activities truly accomplishing what we hope they would? Do we even know what that purpose is? Do we hold a true vision for our parenting, churches, and extracurriculars or are we just coasting without vision and direction for the lives of those we are leading?
Is our goal really just to help our children become productive members of society who get a job someday or attend college to pursue a degree in something they might not actually end up using? Is that truly the vision of what God has called us to as people who invest in young people? Could it be that there is something bigger at hand? Maybe something counter-cultural?
There is one thing that Jesus did, time and time again that I am constantly and consistently struck by. He took time out to simply be with people. He made Himself present to them. He was never in a hurry and He was never doing things out of a need to look good to others. I wonder how much of our investment in young people is truly lived out of a place of rest?
As a child, honestly, the things I treasured most were not all my athletic accomplishments, school achievements or whatever else was filling my life. What I valued and treasured most were the adults in my life who were safe people. People I could trust. People I knew had my back. People I could go to when life was hard.
Sure, softball, basketball or church might have introduced me to those people, but the game or event was simply an invitation to enter into a relationship with someone who could help me grow, becoming a safe place for me. The more authentic and real they were, the more I was drawn to them. Not because they had something I wanted to climb some sort of ladder, but because they were a safe spot to land amidst a chaotic and busy world.
I hope someday to be that for my child. I long to be a safe place to land for her and introduce her to others who would be the same for her. Becoming a safe place requires sacrifice, humility and hard work. It means we must teach ourselves to be present with people, sharing and enjoying each moment with them because, THEY MATTER. This is the kind of ministry Jesus shows us and that is the kind of life that I want to live.
Father, it is so easy for me to not be fully present with people. Sometimes I just want to be focused on myself. I want to hit the easy button and prop my feet up and spend more time doing things for me. Oh Lord, please forgive me for my selfish actions and make me more like you, becoming a safe place for others to land, in Jesus name, Amen.