Friday, July 9, 2010

Watering well

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither” -Psalm 1:3

I love working outside around our yard. We live on 2.5 acres of land and it keeps me busy. I especially like keeping our grass growing and when you live in the Ozarks, that can be a challenge. The rocky, spotty top soil presents a challenge. But with watering and care, yards in the Ozarks can be beautiful.

When we left for the beach last week, I had friend water my yard for me. He did a great job turning on the sprinklers that I had set out in the yard. But when we got back from our trip, I noticed something strange. The circles where the sprinklers rotated water were green. But right outside that circle, the grass was bone dry.

Have you ever flown across Kansas in the summer time? If you have, then you’ve seen the circles all across the Kansas farmland. They are produced by the huge agricultural sprinklers that keep the crops growing. But again, within the circle, crops are green. But outside the circle, the land is dry. The areas that are being watered are growing. But the areas that are not being watered are dying. There is no growth.

If you are the parent of a teenager, then you are someone who waters. There isn't a parent alive that doesn't desire for their teen to grow in every area of their lives. We hope to instill in them the virtues of integrity, faith and love. We want them to grow up being responsible for their lives. We want them to grow spiritually. We want them to be green and growing.

So the challenge of sprinkler placement is crucial to their growth. Where we water determines where they grow. As you’re reading this, take a giant step backwards and be honest with yourself. Ask yourself this question: where do I spend the most time watering my teen?

For example, if you water them in the sports world, then they’ll focus and grow in sports. But sports are not life. We’ve all read about phenomenal athletes lately that are great at their sport but bone dry in the important areas of their lives. I wonder what their lives looked like growing up? Did their parents spend time irrigating anything except their talent area?

We just have to remember to move the sprinkler around. We need to remember to spend time with our teens discussing all areas of their lives. Ask them how they’re doing in their walks with Jesus. Ask them how they’re doing with their friends. Ask them how their relationships are going with the opposite sex. Ask them about sex. Ask them questions, but also listen.

How about the next time our teen walks through the door, not asking him how practice went or what grade they made. Those areas get watered enough. How about asking them how they’re doing. How about sharing with them a story about how our walk with Christ is going. Or, what if you don’t ask anything, just listen to them?

I’ve been accused of watering our yard too long in some areas, which is probably true. Over-watering doesn't help. Watering evenly does help.

Pray for God’s wisdom in loving our teens wholly and completely. Move those sprinklers around and be there to water the whole yard.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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