If we learned from our mistakes, I’d be a genius by now. My only hope is to help someone else avoid the same ones. On those rare occasions when someone asks me for counsel on parenting, I get all excited, as that is a subject upon which I can expound. I can’t tell them what to do, but I am very qualified to tell them what not to do, as I have thirty-some years of mistakes from which to draw. Speaking of mistakes, isn’t it weird that in spite of living with a perfect example of a sinner, my children will most likely make the same mistakes as I, as will their children, and their children’s children? It seems the wisdom of my brilliant mom-isms like “Eat your spinach or you’ll poke your brother’s eye out!” may have all been in vain. This is our human condition. We all step off the same curb, into the same mud puddle. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t need Jesus- instead the Bible would read: “By your own clever ingenuity, inherited by your dear mother, you have been saved”.
I had a dream some years ago: Some of my kids fell off a bridge into raging rapids, I ran to the edge, ready to jump in after them when a voice said, “STOP! You can not save them.” I awoke, strangling in the twisted sheets of this truth. I CAN NOT SAVE THEM. Detangling myself from this false assumption and it’s evil twin: “IF ONLY I’D…” is the first step to breathing again. The second step is a giant leap: To respect my children’s right to exercise free will. To RESPECT THEM. God places such value on free will that He allows the unconscionable; if He didn’t, I’d smell like fried bacon from all the lightening. Nothing takes God by surprise-He’s made the observation, “Everything man thinks or imagines is bent on evil from childhood,” (Genesis 8:21). The shock is not that some of us prefer the world systems to God’s; but that some of us don’t. The greatest shock is, I’M SAVED-rescued from myself and at peace. And the same ARM that saved me, is not too short to save those who follow in my mistaken footsteps. I breathe easier these days.
“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” Isaiah 59:1