Listening to a sermon this week, the pastor was making the point that in striving for greatness– the result of decades worth of work, grinding away at perfecting your giftedness–there are often long stretches of silence before the applause ever resounds. The athlete that works out incessantly, lifting the weights, eating meticulously and training tirelessly often does so for well over a decade before any noted praise. And for those who desire to become a pro…the silence can be deafening and lonely long before the first commentator ever turns the attention towards you.
There is nobody clapping in the weight room.
And parenting is a lot the same way.
Especially if you’re crazy like me.
If you are crazy enough to believe that little ol’ you could raise the change the world is waiting for.
If you’re just nuts enough to think that maybe God gave you these kids to turn the world upside down.
If you walk the floor at night, holding a sick or teething baby and pray that THIS child would grow up to make the entire world a better place. That their life would so reflect His light, that like a city on a hill, their joy could not be hidden.
But until then…
There’s nobody applauding when you discipline them. In fact, most people will tell you you’re doing it wrong.
There is no one clapping when you are cleaning up the vomit.
Not even an “atta boy” when you pick that wailing toddler in a full blown tantrum up out of their high chair in the restaurant and take them “outside.”
And the silence can last for about 20 years. Maybe 30. At times, it is very lonely. Your own mind questions your sanity, your friends and family question your ability or your tactics. But all along the way, there’s this faint whisper and hope of greatness, and you hold on to that belief dearly…
And one day, that child will change the world. The applause will be deafening. The praise and thanks from your now adult child will be reward enough for holding the line all those difficult days of yesteryear.
So take heart, parents. There may be no one applauding your efforts today, or even this decade, but I stand with you…He stands with you…Believe with me that by staying the course, our children will bring in a fresh wind of faith into our nation. Believe that as darkness spreads, these children will shine like cities on a hill, beckoning a lost world to come…and see…this hope within them. Nobody may be “clapping in the weight room,” but for all eternity we will be applauding His great work in their lives and the difference these children have made on this earth.