Monday, July 18, 2011
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you…” -1Pet. 4:12
It is stinkin’ hot in the Ozarks right now. And the humidity is off the charts. But, according to the Weather Channel, we’re right on the average. It’s as hot as it’s supposed to be right now. So why doesn't knowing that make it any easier? You’d think that knowing it’s supposed to be hot would make all the difference, but expecting it doesn't lower the temperature at all!
We read books about parenting and know growing up is a difficult time, but still, we freak out when the hard times hit. And of course, we’re not just reading about growing up, we actually went through it ourselves! Don't we remember? Well, truth is, we don't. Our memories are the best or the worst and not the reality of what really was.
According to the dictionary definition, heat is “energy transferred from one place in a body or thermodynamic system to another place, or beyond the boundary of one system to another one due to thermal contact even when the systems are at different temperatures.”
But we don’t care about the definition when we’re hot and uncomfortable. We don't care about the process- we just want it cooler now.
As parents, when the heat rises, we need to remember not to be surprised. Our kids are going to go through hardship. They are going to experience difficulty. They are going to cry some tears. And when they do, the worst thing we can provide for them is air conditioning. Yes, they need us to be there with and for them, but they need to walk through it in their own way and in their own time.
We can rest assured that the life of our kids will have ups and downs. Of course, we love it when the temperature of our kid’s lives is 72 degrees. Great grades, great sports and great health are easy to “weather.” But when school is difficult, our child is sitting on the bench and sick, we expect and demand cooler days. We forget that life is often hot and uncomfortable. We forget that difficulty is the greatest catalyst for change in our lives (and the lives of our kids).
Nothing much changes on the easy days, but the ground is fertile on the challenging days. Why? Because when we think we’re “cool”, pride rules our lives and pride never responds to the need to change. Someone said, “when you’re green you grow, but when you’re ripe you rot.” We all need to stay green and fertile.
So, take a deep breath and realize that it’s July weather today. And July weather is always hot. Don't be surprised when your kid’s lives heat up. Be there for them but let them walk through the day on their own. Let them own it. Be there to help but not to do.
Slip on the sunglasses, drink some lemonade and work on the tan. And remember that six months from now, you’d gladly trade the freezing weather for a day in shorts.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©