A Gentle Breeze or a Harsh Wind?

This evening, a talk with a parent left a seed for thought for fellow parents.  Having a High School Senior, we find ourselves seeking wisdom, advice and encouragement from those who have gone before us.  Today, the word given was, “This year, I stopped driving, and started guiding!”

As the conversation continued, the image of a mighty sail boat appeared.  One can imagine our children on an ocean, sailing into their future.  Now captains of their ships, standing at the helm, navigating their future.  As parents, we have worked to train them on how to navigate life, and prepared, repaired, built, and structured them as sea worthy vessels, placed in them a sense of purpose and helped them discover their identities, only to face an approaching release into life’s treacherous waters.sailboat

What a challenge before us?  The parent spoke words to live by.  At some point, we must believe that the training given to them will be enough to aid them in navigating the waters.  We must believe this in confidence, knowing that the complete training of a person takes an entire life time, and that many of the lessons that will continue to mold and shape will take place after we release them to sail.   What was being said in the statement, was that the release was not one that turned their child into the raging sea, but one that understood the role of the parent shifting from the “Wheel” to the “Breeze”.

The difference between the “Wheel” and “Breeze” are key to proper navigation.  Many parents will spend the bulk of Supervision Years (college), Managing as Hands On (Grade School), fighting over the wheel that will inevitably be surrendered.  It is this fight that strains relationships, often resulting in outright rebellion. Realistically, the job of the parent is never done, but the methods and modes used to teach are different.  And while our job is never done, our jobs are not to maintain the wheel, but to release the wheel with our wisdom, counsel and advice.  Our purpose now becomes to keep them from sinking or running ashore, not choosing their dock.  We do this, knowing that there is still growing to do, but must do so in order to aid them in becoming effective sailors.

The teachings we render and direction we give from this point will be less hands on, but more vocal driven. We must trust our “breeze!”  Our “breeze” is relative to the love, trust, respect and influence our children have for us.  It is this “breeze” that will remain steady and aid our children in navigating the waters of life, allowing them to find more security in whom they were created to be, and to adjust their sails to the wind in route to their identified harbor.  We must trust that the wind; though missed at times because they have folded up the sails, must continue.  Its steady stream reminds them that they are not subject to the shifting of the current to take them, but that they can still access power to navigate life when they are ready to move forward.

We thought it necessary to also distinguish that a Gentle Breeze and Harsh Wind are very different.  A Harsh Wind is more powerful, but can make life difficult to navigate; especially with shifting currents and impending waves.  It can cause the sailor navigate improperly, panic and in some cases, topple a sea worthy vessel from lack of experience or frustration.  As they are learning to navigate the waves and currents, fighting through Harsh Winds can cause them to loose sight or question the compass, depositing them into uncharted territory.  As parents this is challenging, especially if they seem to be off course or make a navigation error.  It is our love and passion for them that often causes us to run aboard and assume the controls, but we must resist!   As said, training is on going, and while being in control seems fun or best, it will become a chore once you are unable to do so.  They have to learn how to navigate life on their own!

Thus, don’t be a harsh wind!  A Gentle Breeze will provide enough power to navigate challenging waters, giving out children the guidance they need to become productive and successful.  Keep Blowing Parents!

 

 

From the Mouth of Babes…

This just in:  He is loyal!  He is Faithful!  He will do just what He said!  If you let Him.  If you stay with Him.  If you maintain stride with Him.  If you allow Him to complete you.  If you allow Him to prepare you!  All things are truly possible.For the most part, I believe many of us speak this concept from our mouth, but our actions would reveal that we are either ahead of God, or that we wan’t God to sing to us like Flo, “I’ll stand by you. Wont let nobody hurt you….”  A Popular Progressive Insurance commercial has a set the bar of humor with its character Flo, and her portrait of their company.  By watching her, one understand the company to be one that thinks ahead, uses creativity, offers the best price possible, is not bogged by traditional rules, and protects is customers.  The current add, “I’ll Stand By You”, features an amazingly off key performance by both Flo and a separate salesman, which displays the companies commitment to the customer and the extreme levels they will go to provide the insurance and the security one needs to sign with their company and trust their products.  Truly, I love this commercial!  It brings a smile each time. maxresdefault

Today, while changing the fuse in the dryer, my 5 year old daughter came into the laundry room and looked over my shoulder.  “Stay back” I exclaimed.  “It’s dangerous in here, and I don’t want you to get hurt!”  She replied, “I know its dangerous dad.  That’s why I stayed behind you where it was safe.”

I continued working on the dryer.  Smiling first because she had no idea that I was scared and working on a complex machine after watching several youtube videos, but inspired as I worked, thinking, what if we took this approach towards our Heavenly Father?  Furthermore, what an important role we have as parents.

In her few words was displayed the complete the trust and faith that she has in me.  There was no doubt in her mind that she would be safe as long as she was positioned behind the one that could protect her.  I focused in on my walk with the Lord, and life her as we travel.  There are moments where it seems the pace of the Lord is too slow for my own liking.  It has been tempting to break rank, and run ahead towards the goal.

Oddly, God gives us a vision of our future, and then helps us journey towards what He has revealed to us.  I wish If I could put into words the frustration of seeing the flag on the hill!  Seeing the flag gives us a point of reference, and often makes us desire to take a straight line towards the prize.  Our desire to conquer and to obtain what God has for us, has a tendency to take us off the path God has designed to get us there.  God’s path rarely seems to be a straight line.  It is more like an obstacle course that takes us around and through many challenges, in an effort to build and train us not just to obtain the flag, but to take the flag, and have the strength and character to be able to conquer more land and plant that same flag in new territories!

In many cases, we can obtain the flag without following Him, thus we have to be leery of those things that come to easy or without struggle.  God is a God that develops, and takes us through processes that help us understand the territory being conquered and not just feeling the joy of holding the flag in our hand.  God knows that the flag we see, is just the first of many.  Thus getting out of line, might avail us to obtain the flag we see, but disqualify us from obtaining the flags we don’t see. This just in:  He is loyal!  He is Faithful!  He will do just what He said!  If you let Him.  If you stay with Him.  If you maintain stride with Him.  If you allow Him to complete you.  If you allow Him to prepare you!  All things are truly possible.

As parents, we also see the importance of our relationship with our children and their environment.  Our job is not only to keep things working, but to make sure we are in between them and danger.  We are, like God, protectors.  Our kids need us to take and play an active role in their lives, providing an environment that helps them maximize life, getting the full benefit from each moment, while steering them away from harm and danger.  People argue that children are different.  It’s a different child.  A different environment.  Let us not forget, that these are different parents.  We are witnessing a group of parents that are more proud of corporate advancement that raising a family.  This be the lead cause, if you will, of the change in children.  Are you fighting for your kids?  Can they depend on you to not only stand by them as Flo sang, but to be between them and danger, as my 5 year old said?

In conclusion, standing behind the Lord is not a long distance and neighbor is standing behind us as parents.  Standing behind is much like my 5 year old.  She was literally looking over my shoulder.  We must stick close to God, and we must allow our children to stick close to us.  We must be peering over His shoulder, and they must peer over ours, watching what is being done, and being obedient to what the command is to do!  This will being glory and honor to the Lord!  Let us live our lives behind, but in stride with God.  Feeling the full trust and protection He provides, as we keep stride with Him.

Being Heard is an Honor

“The honor in speaking to ones parents about an offense is not to correct or change their ways, but in being heard.” PastorJDO3

In life, there are many milestones.  Moments in which growth is both experienced, and times where growth is acknowledged.  It’s the moment that you walk into a room, and the adults continue speaking.  The day that you join a conversation; and your presence is welcome. Growing Up

These moments carry much weight because they are simple milestones that mark one’s journey from childhood to adult hood.  As children, your voice and your opinion go without recognition, thus your feeling and thoughts remain silent; for if expressed, one will suffer further punishment and or stricter restrictions.

As children grow, they long for the day they can address the wrong they have seen or experienced.  And when adulthood is reached, they not only desire to be heard, but began to develop hope that the words spoken can lead to change and result in healing of past or present hurts.

Though age wise one is an adult, father, husband, and CEO, there is one title that will always remain, child.  As a child, one will always be speaking up the chain of authority and position, and must remember, that the position’s rights and benefits remain relatively the same.  Though one is given a voice, the words will always carry the same power as the silent existence.  Though this might be a sad reality to some, however to some, it is a cherished promotion.

Though Jesus was not promoted, we can find a powerful moment between God the Father and Jesus the Son.  Jesus on mission from God to restore relationship with mankind, sat in the garden speaking to God about the task at hand.  He spoke, pouring His heart out, sweating like drops of blood, returning 3 times checking to see if the will of God had changed.   He spoke to the Father, making His feeling known, and was satisfied not because He received the answer He sought, but that He was heard, and His word was considered by the Father who wanted the best for all and did not change His mind.

As we grow, we must keep proper perspective when speaking up the chain, understanding that, “The honor in speaking to ones parents about an offense is not to correct or change their ways, but in being heard.” 

 

Matthew 26:36-46