We are in the Season when the general public is most inclined to sense the scent of general grace, the greatest gift of heaven and all heaven in that gift. But will we unwrap it and explore its fantastic dimensions of joy?
Or are we so obsessed with binding ourselves and our kids into the stifling confinement of ‘being safe’ everywhere and all the time. We push safeness onto our kids as a religion. The online ‘Conversation’ ran a piece ‘Is it safe to let our kids climb trees? lets ask the experts!’ So out come the surgeon, environmental educator, injury epidemiologist plus others to all agree ‘yes its OK so long as parents supervise!’ Wow- how did we get on without experts? Now little Billy can scale the apricot tree in the backyard because a bunch of experts have put their tick on it.
Safety. Kids used to walk or ride bikes to school. Now its queues of SUV’s dropping off and picking up. Even parents carrying their kids bags for them. ‘Safe’ is everywhere and OK good to be safe.
But! If we were really committed to safety for our kids a lot more blokes and women would resist easy adultery, separation and divorce just because they found someone fresh in place of the old too familiar spouse. That newly connected ‘soul-mate.’ Fact: Parents who stay together and raise their kids in a loving God-trusting home do best for the next generation on every parameter of social well-being, by far.
If we were really keen for our kids safeness, we would build their spiritual fibre by taking them to church to experience and learn worship. We would acquaint them with the biographies of the great radicals and martyrs who changed nations for the good through faith. We would set aside time at a mealtime for prayers, prayers of thanksgiving to God the Provider of every good thing. We would teach and example how to call out to the Lord of all mercy and grace to answer us in our distress and daily problems. Do our kids know the Lord’s Prayer, the Great Command, the Resurrection truths? That is basic. Do they hear the Psalms read at home by their Dad and applied with seriousness and care? Is the home, because of this trust, a moral fortress of love and truth with powerful weapons against the flighty dark and evil thoughts of the age which attack and devastate mental health? It can be, so simply.
If these dimensions are absent all the safe stuff becomes shallow and short-lived. Our present human and multi-billion dollar crisis in suicide and depression runs rampant in this shallowness. Human beings are more than consumers and statistics. They are souls. And the human soul cries for more than the change and decay we want to be safe in. Death, disease, dysfunction and despair stalk, plus calamities and a myriad other. We need more. Our kids need more.
In the sixteenth century Pascal the brilliant mind who discovered both the rudiments of the computer and the concept of matter under pressure (kilopascals) also a deep student of Scripture concluded that the greatest danger for any human was not to be a saint; that is, to miss realizing they are created to know God and to learn the language of heaven . For the sake of our errant kids or grandkids lets devote ourselves to be examples and signs of the things that last-our true safety.
Thank you Ian for posting this….. I gleaned from the article that today’s attitude of parents prefer to ensure the physical safety of their children,yet neglect the growth of their personal spiritual development and knowledge of a personal God that loves them and has provided the way to know Him. This Christmas has been a real disappointment to me this year here in Melbourne…….For the first time since I can remember there has been no reference to the birth of Christ anywhere….not on TV,radio…none anywhere. As it has been said that we are living on “the fumes of the blessings of Christianity’,but I fear that the ‘fumes’ are quickly evaporating…..
Hope and trust that you and Rosemary and family are well…….Love….Gloria…PS….I miss you