We are in a season of launching our progeny. They are ready… to leave, to do their own thing, to not have Mom and Dad making all kinds of helpful “suggestions,” or trying to “help.”
I am sure I frustrate them. I know that they have frustrated me (maybe once or twice!)
But as I reflect on this launch season, I realize that there’s lots of things I’ve not done very well in preparing them to be on their own. Dumb stuff. Important stuff. And a myriad of things in between.
When I realize that I haven’t made sure they know how to do x or y, I get anxious. What if they need me? I don’t imagine big, horrible things… more like the everyday “cup of stupid” mistakes that we all make. And then I chill. In this age of cell phones and emails, really and truly we are just a couple of minutes away. If they want our help, that is. My anxieties are really not because I worry that they will have problems.
No, I think the reason that I get anxious is because I realize that there’s 500 things I’ve not done well. My own life is a rusty, dented example of living. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. (And they, being in the front row of my goofs all of their lives would be quick to correct me on that score.) I want them to avoid my mistakes. I want them to be happy, safe, loved and loving. I want them to avoid the “double cups of stupid” that I kept trying, spitting out, and saying, “I will NEVER do that again.” (and again. and again.)
I finally had a moment of clarity this morning I sat in the heat on my back patio, watching the butterflies move among my flowers. Their loopy flight paths seemed a bit crazy. They never moved in a straight line, it seemed. Yet, they got themselves fed as they flitted here and there, from butterfly bush to hydrangea to rose to day lily. And then Christ’s teaching came to mind…
27 Look how the wild flowers grow! They don’t work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn’t as well clothed as one of these flowers. 28 God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. Won’t he do even more for you? You have such little faith!
29 Don’t keep worrying about having something to eat or drink. 30 Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father knows what you need. 31 But put God’s work first, and these things will be yours as well. (Luke 12-27-31)
We’ve tried to show them that Kin-dom things come first, that God brings the rest in the right season. And I’m learning how to be content with believing that we’ve done enough, if not with perfection, at least with our bumbling, stumbling best. And to trust the God who loves them best and most to carry them through it all.
Thanks be to God.