Friday, December 12, 2014

Parents, get out of God's way!

While sitting on the sideline waiting for my child's soccer game to start last May, I overheard the conversation of the people sitting next to me.

Now before you accuse me of rudely eavesdropping, I feel I need to explain that I would have had to pack up my stuff and move away from my spot to not hear the conversation. If you have ever been to a youth soccer game, then you know how close the family members of the players park themselves next to the line on the field and each other.

Anyway, now that I have cleared that up, it's back to the conversation that I overheard.

The conversation took place between two young adult men. They ended up at the game separately but ran into each other and decided to sit side by side. Apparently they had graduated from high school together a year or two prior to their current meeting, went off to college, and had not seen each other since graduation. At this unplanned meeting, they happily greeted each other and explained why they both found themselves at the soccer game (one was there to watch his girlfriend's younger brother and the other was there to watch his brother referee the game).

For the sake of this story, I will call the young man there for his girlfriend's brother Bob and the young man there for his brother Mike.

Bob asked Mike what he had been up to since graduation. Mike explained that he went away to college, and had come home a couple weeks before to spend his summer with his family. Then he started complaining about how he didn't have a car, and that he had wanted to eat at a local restaurant since he returned home, but no one would take him. He told Bob that he was thinking about getting a job with the local school district for the summer but had not filled out the application yet.

At that moment, Bob interrupted Mike to explain that he was going to be working the exact job that Bob had mentioned and that he had been hired back in March for it. Then he told Mike that he was also in college, and he planned to take a class or two over the summer, in the hopes of graduating early.

There was a pause in the conversation before Mike enthusiastically mentioned a former schoolmate of theirs. He told Bob that their schoolmate was getting married that day, and said "Isn't that crazy? He hasn't even lived life yet?"

Bob asked, "Didn't he join the military, and isn't he twenty now?" Mike responded that he wasn't positive, but he thought that information sounded correct.

After that, their conversation ended. The game had started, but I also think they had run out of things to discuss.

I have thought about that conversation for months. 

What did Mike mean by saying his classmate had not lived yet? Had he not spent the first twenty years of his life living? Joining the military, falling in love, and getting married are, I am sure, some of the happiest events of that young man's life!

Now, I don't know if Mike was raised in a Christian home, but I have noticed this in a lot of families, even Christians ones. Parents are encouraging their children to postpone making the "big" decisions until they are much older (thirty is the age I hear most). I hear them say, "Don't get married or think about having children until you are older. Have some fun before you settle down into your life. Don't make things harder for yourself." 

For a while, our children live under our loving guidance, before leaving us to make lives of their own. But they spend their entire lives under the unfailing love and support of the One who knew them before they were formed and wrote the story of their lives in His book. 

If we, Christian parents, are teaching our children from their infancy to pray and seek God's will in their life, then shouldn't we continue to encourage them to do it in their adult years? 

There is a contradiction between teaching children to seek God's will and then telling them how to live their lives.

God calls us to do and be things at different times throughout our lifetime. His timing is different for everyone, but His timing is always perfect for each one of us. I know I need to repeat that, for I am still learning it, His timing is perfect - not mine. 

As a mom of three boys, I want to protect them from making bad decisions, and I don't want them to suffer. But more than that I want them to have a relationship with God, always seek His plan and understand that He makes all things come to good.  

This life, the life that we live one day at a time, is good. It is more than good. It is exhilarating and full beyond measure. Yes, it can be hard. It can feel draining and impossible at times. But as long as we keep our focus heavenward, we will make it through the hardships and our reward will be beyond what we can imagine. 

When my children come to tell me about a big decision that they are in the process of making, I pray that I will respond in a way that turns them towards God and away from worldly selfishness. 

I pray that I will stay out of God's way. 


  1. `Great post Erika! My sister is a nun and she says that parents are often the biggest obstacle to their daughter's vocation...even good Catholic parents. They don't want their daughter to even consider a vocation until they have gone through college and worked a bit, and then things (like college debt) can get in the way of a girl purusing or discerning a vocation. It's sad. I think the 'living life" thing is exceptionally sad. Getting married and having kids (or having a religious vocation) IS life...and a good life at that

  2. I believe it, Amelia, and it is sad. I heard a story once about a young man that felt the call to the priesthood right out of high school. His parents were furious, and couldn't believe that he would waste his private Catholic school education on becoming a priest. They had spent that money so he could get into an excellent college and have a lucrative career. The story ended well though. He followed his call and became a priest.

  3. I love your blog! I just found it via Call Her Happy. God bless.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! :)

      God bless!

  4. What a beautiful post! I love your scripture quotes too. I think we always want to pass on the wisdom we have learned from our own mistakes, sometimes this can be good and sometimes I think our children just need to navigate the world with us reminding them that God loves them. I would love for my children to embrace marriage at a younger rather than older age if God will's it!

  5. So so true. I pray that I can get MY own will and ambition out of the way always because what I truly want for my children is to follow His will, no matter what that is.


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