The other morning I went out for a run. Four and a half miles. I was almost home when I stopped for a minute in front of my friend Suzy’s house to text her and then I fiddled with my music selection on my phone. I looked on down the road and then began to run again. Next thing I knew I did an end over…falling completely flat on my face, breaking my phone and rolling my ankle pretty badly. When I finally got up, I was unable to even walk the rest of the way home. I had to call my husband for a rescue. I was not only physically hurt, but pretty humbled and embarrassed to boot.
There is a lesson here folks. I was clipping along at a fairly good pace, but I got distracted. If I have said it once, I’ll tell you a million times…as a parent you CAN NOT TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE BALL. If I had just kept on moving along, not taken my eyes off my road, I would have been finished in less than five minutes…Suzy’s only about 6 houses down from me. Moms and dads, keep your gaze fixed on the One who began the good work in you, in your children, in your family, and keep your eyes wide open with your children.
Secondly, when I began to run again, I looked too far down the road instead of right where I was planting my next step…I did not see the fist-sized rock that would trip me up so painfully. I rolled my ankle bad enough that even now, four weeks later, it still smarts. What does this mean to you? I preach a lot about purpose and that’s a good thing, but sometimes if you continuously look too far down the road and don’t keep your eye on the next step you need to take with junior, you can get really tripped up. Parenting is overwhelming in so many ways. The sheer responsibility of turning out a Jesus-loving-productive-responsible-let-alone- amazing adult is like…whoa…a lot. So if you sense anxiety creeping in, fear even, don’t get tripped up. Just focus on the next thing, the next step, focus on what junior needs today. God’s got tomorrow all figured out.
And lastly, when you fall, because you will, take the hard knock, dust yourself off, and call a friend if you need to. Your spouse. Your sister. Your friend from Bible study. And don’t ever forget to talk to the one Friend that sticks closer than a brother…Jesus. He saw your trip-up coming. He has the healing balm for the sting that mistakes cause. He’ll never laugh at you and He wants to see you succeed more than anything.
I was almost home. I could have hobbled on, but I needed a rescue. My sweet hubby came rushing around the corner at 40 miles an hour (I didn’t even know the PT Cruiser could go that fast in that short a distance) and treated me like a battle wounded comrade-in-arms. Many times, parents take their eyes off the ball right as junior nears adulthood, figuring –“He’s got this…” When a falter happens, instead of encouraging one another, the enemy scores a double whammy because the parents blame one another and begin arguing incessantly. Just help each other. Love each other. You are on the same team and when you have committed your child to God, the outcome is sure. “I know in whom I have believed and I believe He is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him…”
(that’s in the New Testament somewhere, and no—I can’t remember where and I don’t have time to look it up…the kiddos are circling around me like I’m chum and it’s shark week. I need coffee….was up wayyyyyyy too late last night.)