Saturday, November 17, 2007

Raising kids, foolishness and grace

So earlier this week I loaded the kids up in the car to go check out the pictures we'd had taken last month. Frankly, I was already tired from all the general busyness, had the beginnings of a headache, and was worried because I knew I'd want to spend too much moolah. The pictures were every bit as adorable as I'd anticipated, and I had a hard time narrowing it down. It was also a time to get a bit misty; we did this same fundraiser two years ago and it was the first professional photographs we'd had done with the two kids together. How they've changed! Anyway, I gathered up the pictures, wrote out the check, oversaw a potty stop, herded the kids back to the car, and settled into the driver's seat with a big sigh. Seat belt securely fastened, I started driving back home where more tasks were waiting.

Now I do want to back track a little here to set the stage: our pastor has recently started preaching through I Corinthians, and in the opening chapters Paul writes extensively about worldly vs. Godly wisdom. He also speaks of God's grace.

So anyway, as I'm driving home, my Rich Mullins CD is playing and I'm singing along, enjoying the brief interlude. The kids are actually being quiet, simply looking out the windows and taking in the sights. "Let Mercy Lead" starts up. A very nice song, one I can remember listening to in college. I start singing the first few words, but suddenly I didn't want to sing anymore. Time to simply listen.

Aidan you're young
But Aidan you're growing fast
Me and your mom
And all the love we have
We can only take you so far
As far as we can
But you'll need something more to guide your heart
As you grow into a man

Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Those who believe
Although their foolish hearts may break
They will find peace
And I'll meet you in that place
Where mercy leads

Aidan the day
Aidan the day will come
You'll run the race
That takes us way beyond
All our trials and all our failures
And all the good we dream of
But you can't see yet where it is you're heading
But one day you'll see the face of love

Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Those who believe
Although their foolish hearts may break
They will find peace
And I'll meet you in that place
Where mercy leads

I don't know the exact story, but I vaguely remember hearing that he'd written this song for a nephew or a friend's son or something (he didn't have children of his own). But now I'm thinking of my own kids, and their growth as shown in the photographs lying next to me on the seat. And I'm being convicted by the simple words pouring from the speakers. How are we raising our kids? I know I've written about it often, but it's a subject dear to my heart. Are we teaching them the importance of mercy? Whose wisdom am I focusing on? Certainly knowledge is important, but "the foolishness of God" (I Cor 1:25) is absolutely vital. I'd love to know that each footprint - every muddy track as our son currently tears through life with his little sister desperately trying to keep up, and particularly as they grow larger and break new ground - will contain "a drop of grace." That they can share the truth with others, even if their hearts are broken in the process. For they will know the Healer and His peace.

Just a little reminder of what really matters, squeezed into a busy day. Don't you just love how the Lord meets us right where we are? So I wiped away a few tears (just like I'm doing again now) and continued on with the tasks at hand, praying that I'll do better. That I, too, can leave a trail of grace.

2 comments:

Jenn said...

They do grow so fast. So often our agenda takes over and we think it is hard and fast. "no, at 9:35 I must load the dishwasher. I don't have time to read a book right now." Thank you for the reminder to stop and enjoy!

In Pursuit of His Call said...

Thank you for this post...I don't think I've heard this song, but the lyrics that gave me hope were:

Me and your mom
And all the love we have
We can only take you so far
As far as we can
But you'll need something more to guide your heart
As you grow into a (wo)man

I mess up so often with the girls, especially DearDaughter1 and I often dislike myself when I mess up. I always feel like it's my fault that DearDaughter1 displays the vices that she has and to a degree it certainly is my fault and my responsibility because at this stage she needs total guidance. Yet, I am still a sinner myself and will not always be able to display godliness. And so the hope for myself and also for our girls is that drop of God's grace to give us His strength and His wisdom to walk in His righteousness. And that is my prayer, that He would abundantly pour out His grace upon us so that we are more able to walk away from our sins and are more able to exemplify what is pleasing to God so that our girls will follow what is good and right.

I also appreciate Jenn's comment about our agenda's taking over...That is often when my sins come out, when things don't go my way...When I was pregnant with DearDaughter1 I was warned that I should always expect the unexpected...Even though I know that, it's still difficult for me to apply what I know and I get so upset when DearDaughter1 is just being who she is at this stage when things aren't going my way. Rather than getting upset, I should recognize it as an opportunity to respond in godliness, which is why I pray for more of God's grace...