I am not a big fan of roller coasters. I don't like heights, I hate that funny feeling in my stomach when the sudden drops come, and I really, really dislike the dread of anticipation while waiting in line trying to be brave and fun. It's the worst! In a lot of ways, 2020 was like a roller coaster ride for all of us. All we could do was hold on tight and wait for it to end. It did. 2021 came, and with it I'm feeling a little as if we got off one roller coaster and got in line to ride another. Ringing in the new year was a bit like the slow chug up the first incline. We couldn't really see what was at the top. Would it drop suddenly or ease us into the ride with just a swift little turn? We know the answer now, don't we? Two weeks in, it seems like we've gone from one scary ride to another. Are you ready to scream, “Someone stop this ride! I want off!”?
I've heard a lot of parents bemoaning the state of the world that their children will grow up in. I understand. Two of my children are in their early 20's, and I have a 13-year-old just learning how to navigate adolescence and all that means these days. It's daunting to raise children in these times, but that IS a ride I'm up for! Why? I have a sign in my office that says, “From little seeds grow mighty trees.” I've never been more motivated to do the hard work of tilling the soil of little hearts. With all that I am, I believe it will make a difference in this world, and I am so convinced that we MUST NOT neglect our responsibility to spiritually nurture the soil those seeds are grown in. We are spiritual beings, and if that component is left out or neglected, those seeds will have weak roots when they sprout. A tree with weak roots will not hold up when the strong winds come. Large trees with weak roots topple over and cause devastation to anything in their path. I think we've seen many people with weak roots lately. But this is the beautiful thing about belonging to God. We know the end of the story, and it's why your parenting matters - it has eternal consequences. Be faithful to raise those children God has entrusted you with to know Him, to love truth, and to know beauty. Pray like crazy that God will use them (and YOU!) to push back against the darkness.
"The world is rated R, and no one is checking IDs. Do not try to make it G by
imagining the shadows away. Do not try to hide your children from the world
forever, and do not try to pretend there is no danger. Train them. Give them
sharp eyes and bellies full of laughter. Make them dangerous. Make them
yeast, and when they've grown, they will pollute the shadows."
Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World by N.D. Wilson
We are never promised a life of comfort and ease. Truth be told, you don't want that for your kids. You want them to live in the way they are created to live - a life of flourishing. That kind of life will take courage and grit, a big imagination, and a lot of humor. You want them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. That my friends, cannot be done alone. It's why Seven Rivers Christian School exists: to partner with you to produce graduates who passionately pursue God and His church, thrive in higher education, create healthy families, and bring the joy and peace of the gospel to a broken world. I'm praying for many more years to partner with all of you doing just that!