Friday, October 14, 2022

What Really Matters?

Like many parents before me, I have found the challenge of handing over the reins to my young adults emotionally challenging. Too much to fast, too little too late--it all depends on the child and the situation. 

Early this Fall as I started processing the ending of this chapter of parenthood and the beginning of another, I became a bit Ecclesiastical. In my exhaustion and cynicism I wondered if intentional parenting doesn't guarantee a result, what has all our investment been for? The temptation for a person who has long believed that everything matters is to swing wildly to the other side. What if nothing matters? 

I had the privilege over the last couple of weeks to read my Seniors' college admission essays. It has been a gift to read how they define themselves--especially what moments from their adolescence they determined to be transformative. Frankly, the big memories I tried to engineer aren't their watershed moments. Instead, it has been the more mundane, organic moments they cite as formative. 

So, I have arrived at this: You don't get to know in advance what matters down the road. 

Parenting, it seems, is a lot like throwing mud against the wall. Some sticks, but you can't predict what. So we sling love, hurl encouragement, and fling opportunities against the sturdy wall of our secure bond. Then, we wait to see what stays. 

Thanks to my blog hobby, I have my own version of some of my children's essay topics. Unsuprisingly, my perspective in the moment differs slightly from their recollection years later. A nod to Ecclesiastes 3: 11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom the work God has done from beginning to end. "

These blog posts reveal my own sanctification in the process of my children's formation. As a result, I can say with confidence that none of it is meaningless. God is always at work in the "unadorned pots of our everyday lives" (2 Corinthians 4:7)

To Him be the Glory!

1 comment:

BSL said...

"You don't get to know in advance what matters down the road." As a parent of a 13 year old and 16 year old, I absolutely love this - thank you. (It's probably true in many areas of life other than parenting too. :))