Wednesday, May 4, 2011
“… not a result of works, so that no one may boast." –Eph. 2:8
I discovered something interesting over the weekend walking through our neighborhood: no yard is perfect. Now there are yards in our neighborhood that are definitely well manicured and kept. There are other yards in our neighborhood that, well, could use some work. But every yard has its flaws. Every child has flaws too. Of course, every parent has imperfections. Sometimes, we expect too much out of those we love. There is peace in surrendering to the imperfections.
I love cutting my grass this time of year. The cool weather plus the rainy days makes for full, thick grass. Last year, I let a yard service talk me into letting them spray my yard with fertilizer and for weeds. It was expensive and left a bunch of bare spots in the yard. This year, I sprayed for weeds and didn't spray with the intensity of the yard people.
And you know what, my yard looks better this year. No offense to the yard people, but I discovered that a few weeds in the yard make for a fuller landscape. Killing out every single piece of vegetation except pure grass would make for the perfect yard, but there are conditions in our soil that won't let that particular grass grow freely.
Kids aren't perfect either. Parents intuitively know that every normal child has issues, yet most parents strive for the perfect kid. Spraying and spraying, well meaning moms and dads do their best to remove every single weed from their child’s life. Most parents would claim that, “I’m only pushing him for his best.”
But sometimes, the push needs to be a nudge or no nudge at all.
Now I’m not suggesting that Augusta National Golf Course have fairways full of dandelions. Being on the international stage, the Masters is certainly worthy of all the man-hours put into making that course absolutely beautiful. But I am suggesting that hiring tutors, personal trainers, life coaches and mentors for your kids might be a little much. Yes, counseling is good when there are issues to be addressed, but be sure the issue is truly a need.
If my child is the reserve quarterback on the football team, I don't need to hire a personal coach to work with him all summer so that he can get that starting position next year. If the child wants to put in all that time, then great. But be sure he knows it’s okay with you for him to be the backup. It’s a great lesson for life. Most of us are backing up somebody.
I googled “pretty weeds” today on my laptop and what I discovered was amazing! There are hundreds of varieties of plants that are classified as weeds, but they’re beautiful.
Teach your kids to do their best and strive for excellence. Challenge them to shoot for the moon and give their all. But also provide assurance to your child that you love them for being them, not for what they do. Remind them that you love them unconditionally. Assure them that a few weeds don't make a difference.
Secretly, we all know we have weeds in our yard. God reminds us that He died for it all. His unconditional love for us is everything. When we experience that same love from those we love, it makes all the difference.
So keep cutting that grass and making your yard as beautiful as you can, but don't sweat a few weeds.
They only make the yard fuller.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©