All of our children are adults. We have a lot of happy things in our scrapbook. Mistakes, too. And lessons learned. And still learning.
This morning I ran across the apostle Paul’s words to his fellows during a storm at sea. “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.” It is too easy for me to believe that the ship is IT, and forget that lives are actually what’s to save.
Routines, tangibles, and the organization seem to be so important. Best way to raise a family, they say. Have plenty of worthy work and good routines. And this is true. But I have been learning that the darkest, secret sins can thrive there, too.
I am all for saving ships: church, family routines, school, and home. We pray and work hard on these things, as we should. But it is souls we are mostly concerned about. Each individual one.
In our ship, our children wanted to know if they mattered more than the ship. Maybe ours were different than others; but I doubt it. One of our children said to us clearly, “We need to hear things like, “You can do this, you will not be lost, you matter, you are worthwhile!”, instead of the accusatory, “Stop rocking the ship, or why are you rocking OUR ship, we have the best ship around and you ought to be grateful”.
So, I am encouraged with Paul’s tack with fearful, unsure people around him. Read through one of his many letters recorded in your Bible. You’ll see what I mean. His ideas are all about “You can do this”, “Jesus did for you”, and the power available to anyone willing to make himself a living sacrifice.
A living sacrifice is one of Paul’s sayings that I am interested in studying up on, especially along side Jesus’ saying, “…my yoke is easy, my burden light.” Really? How are you mature, Spirit filled people putting that together and living it out? I don’t want to hear good ideas; I want hear how the rubber meets the road, for you, for real. That’s what our children want to see and hear, too.