I read this story by Ray Hollenbach and wanted to share it with you. How many of you know people who use the word not to help to gain control? How many of you know that Satan knows the word and often captures you with flattery? Sowing seeds of discord in any area, business, friendship, home or church let’s us see where hearts lie.
In our school district the school decided to hold the parents responsible for the truancy of their students. The outrage among the parents was incredible. How dare the school make the parent responsible? Wasn’t it the school’s problem to make sure their child was at school? See the real issue was the pointing of the fingers and the inability to take responsibility. I remember with a smile when my daughter Casey, who was the one to test the limits said, “What would you do if I ditched school?” I said, “I’d take time off of work and we’d go to school together. I’d be in every class with you and I’d sit with you at lunch and we’d be joined at the hip.” She looked at me and said seriously, “You’d do that too. I know it. How embarrassing!” My job as a parent was not to abdicate my responsibility to others but to accept the role and do it to the best of my ability. Was it going to hurt her self esteem to follow her around in school? Not as much as it was going to hurt her to think you can skirt your responsibilities.
In speaking to friends of mine who are teachers they say that they not only have to teach a child their normal academic lessons but they have teach morals as well. One friend told me that she has teach the students they can’t go through her purse, that they can’t call each others names, how to use silverware, that you can’t spit on each other, that you can’t steal from one another, and that you have to respect adults. She has had things stolen so she now leaves anything of value locked in her car. Doesn’t she have enough to do with making sure the children that are assigned to her can read, write and accomplish basic math skills?
Can I ask a silly question? What did the parents do for the first five years of life if these basic things weren’t taught? Did they interact with their children at all? Did they just figure out the school was going to do it?
What exactly is the parents’ role in today’s society?
OH! I know! Our job as parents is to buy Buford every single thing his heart desires, let him do whatever he wants, let him be as disrespectful as possible and let television be his babysitter as we do what is really important in life, live for ourselves. Because after all, what we want is the most important thing in life.
The consequences of those actions are here now and we won’t have to worry about Islamic terrorists destroying the American ideal. The disregard shown children today will come to roost in our homes. Sound extreme? Read the papers.
We need to get to a place where we care. A place where it isn’t a burden to parent our children. A place where we don’t live in fear that our children will be traumatized by the word NO. Gosh, I sound so old fashioned!
Monday morning not long after my shower and rush to get on the road to get home from a business trip, I received a text that frustrated me. Someone was trying to take advantage of a kindness I had extended and I began to complain to my husband. Calm man that he is, he said, “Don’t let it ruin it your day. People are people.” “What?!!”, I replied, “It already has ruined my day, how does someone do this? Really? Come on!” I stomped around texting replies and working remotely.
We checked out of our room and headed for valet to wait for our vehicle. A man was looking at us as we handed the valet our ticket and waited for our vehicle. The man turned to face us several times. I was texting as the day was getting started at the office and there were many details to handle between the store and the office. Monday’s are hectic to say the least. Finally, the man stuck up a conversation. He said, “Good Morning! Where are you from?” My husband said casually, “By Fresno.” The man said, “Oh me too!” My husband then said, “Are you here on vacation?” And what unfolded was a God thing.
The man said his wife had terminal cancer. Her doctors had done all that they could do. She had three to six months left to live and they had used up a month of that. They were in town to see a doctor who was going to administer an experimental drug on her. It would not save her life but it may be save the lives of others.
I felt such compassion. I asked the man if the drugs would prolong her life? He replied no, in fact they may kill her, but he repeated, they may save someone else. Wow! What do you say about that kind of compassion? What do you say about that kind of love? All that was left to say was what I said, “We’re Christians, can we pray with you?” He extended his hand out and said, “Please do”. I grabbed his hand fiercely and prayed for mercy and for strength for he and his wife. What else to say? In that moment his car pulled up. I asked him his name as he walked toward his vehicle so I could continue to pray for him.
His wife came through the doors of the hotel shortly after. She was frail and oh so sickly looking and walking so slowly. I smiled at her from where I stood. What a hero she is. Instead of going home to quietly die and make the most of her days left on earth, she was going to donate her body to science while still alive, to see if maybe someone could be spared her pain.
I don’t know why God chose to bless me with this lesson. All I can tell you is that my day wasn’t ruined. My day, despite its trial, was blessed beyond measure. I was not watching my spouse die. I was not dying. I was merely dealing with an annoyance. Funny how minutes ago it was so important. I guess until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes your bad looks worse than it is.
So whatever you’re going through, think about this couple, then say a prayer for them. I don’t want to post their names in this blog out of respect for them but I know that God knows who you’re praying for. Then, with what’s left, say a prayer of gratitude and be content. It could be a great deal worse.