As I cross paths with other parents, it is common for the conversation to quickly turn to what is happening in the lives of our kids. When we were younger, we were eager to share our children’s most basic accomplishments. We bought a baby book where we not only recorded our baby’s weight and length but also our baby’s first words and first steps.
As our children entered elementary school, we watched our kids interact with other children. We began to realize that while our kids had talents and abilities in some areas, other children were more developed in other ways. No one child excelled at everything but we began to aspire for our children to improve in areas where they were lagging behind others.
As the kids grew into Jr. High, sports turned from “everybody gets to play” to “competition” to play. Naturally, as parents we wanted our kids to be able to improve and continue to compete. We spent hours playing catch and shooting hoops hoping to improve their technique. We couldn’t play the piano but we made sure our kids took lessons.
With high school our children lost some enthusiasm for competition. They didn’t need to be on a sports team to be accepted. They certainly didn’t need to be at the top academically. They just wanted to hang with their friends.
Our parental alarm bells started ringing loudly. Don’t our kids know that they have to work harder than everyone else just to get ahead? Don’t they know that the whole goal of a successful life builds on each decision they make today?
What makes a successful life? I don’t think it is being the best ball player, graduating at the top of the class or making the most money. As a parent, my highest aspiration is that my children have a lifetime filled with hope and inner peace. What could be more important?
What do you hope for your children? Are you spending sufficient time guiding them to your highest aspiration for them? This Sunday we celebrate Easter and there is no better time to bring your family to church and introduce them to a future of hope and peace. Whether your children are five or fifty-five, help them understand what you believe is important. I’ll be at the Morenci Church of the Nazarene and I hope to see you there.
– Keith Pennington
Silver Creek Dr., Morenci