Thursday, 14 August 2008

Parenthood 5: Road Trip (but actually 550)

I’ve started and deleted this installment three times, which is kind of the opposite point of a blog. I know. But it all sounds wrong. I can’t quite get my mind around it. I know God loves my kids. I know He’ll guide them the way He guides me. I trust Him.

I trust Him.

But still, I feel like I’m playing chicken with Him over their future.

I trust Him with the big stuff. That’s what it is. I’m not worried about relationship and growth and all the stuff I probably should worry about. If there’s one thing the Starbucks Years taught me, it’s to trust God even when there’s no earthly reason to. Even when everything looks and feels wrong, He taught me—he whispered in my ear—“do you trust Me now?”

So that’s capillary action for me, and I trust Him in the same way with my children. I don’t worry about their relationship with Him. Maybe I should, but I don’t.

No. It’s the little things I’m struggling with. But those little things turn into big things. Momma Phelps needed an energy release (and a break!) for her hyperactive son, so she sent him swimming.

I trust that God’s going to lead my kids to a relationship with Him. I trust that he’s using me as a part of that process. But gymnastics or taekwondo? Swimming,? Tennis? Drama? Golf? Dance? Baseball? Piano? Soccer? Wait. Not soccer. There’s no future there.

It’s not that I don’t trust God with this stuff. I’m just not getting a lot of direction here. Paul doesn’t exactly cover water sports when he talks about Spiritual Gifts. So I end up stepping onto that spiritual interstate, this time for my kids, willing to barrel headlong toward God, willing to take the devastating crash, because it’s important enough. They are important enough.

And it’s not because I’m one of Those Parents. This is not a vicarious living thing. I couldn’t care less about whether it’s football or badminton, journalism or ice dancing (okay, not ice dancing). I just want to help them find That Thing that they love and are passionate about and excel in. I want to help them succeed, but more than that, I want them to love it, and love God through it.

I blink and suddenly I’m sitting in God’s passenger seat. I’m no longer barreling at Him—we’re barreling together. Without taking His eyes off the road (which is really my kids), he says, “you know we want the same thing. I’m as eager to see them discover It as you are.”

Then, with His eyes still on the road (my kids), he picks up a bag of sunflower seeds from the bench between us (God’s driving a big old land yacht, like a Caprice Classic. But it’s been converted for bio-diesel, of course.) and offers them to me. “It’s a long trip,” he says. “Spit the shells out the window. I like the breeze.” He flips on the radio and it’s Costas doing his Saturday morning radio spot, talking about the Olympics. “How about that Phelps?” God asks. He gives me a sidelong glance, and then He laughs.

I’m laughing with Him.

If my kids turn out to be Olympians or if one writes the Great American Novel? Bonus.

1 comment:

Todd said...

God drives a Caprice Classic?

Wow... I was cooler than I thought for a bit.

But, considering how much my Dad loves those cars, it's probably true.