Saturday, May 31, 2014

Through a Glass Darkly

I've been reading this book my sister sent me for my Birthday.  I like it. I like it because the author has some sound insight and I've had an epiphany while reading.

The book is about perspective. Our circumstances don't have to change in life, we need to change our perspective. Life can be painful and mundane. And if we are cynical and feel sorry for ourselves, we will live a very looooooong sad life. And those around us will feel our life is three times as loooooong. The author suggests our perspective should be the perspective of a heavenly parent. We should strive to see our lives through God's eyes. When we see our lives through tainted glasses of envy, comparison and fear, we lose our heavenly perspective.

I've always considered helping my kids very minimally with school projects a wise parenting choice. Yet, most times, I would come to school and feel shamed. I'll never forget Sarah's county project in Miss Kenny's 4th grade class. She had a flimsy poster board with her hand writing and some printed descriptions with black and white printed pictures. The other kids had sturdy fancy tri-fold posters, color printer pictures and candy or food as a part of their display! The next thing I knew, I was at the nearest grocery store and minutes later, returning to school with a bag of tootsie rolls to hand out to all those that passed by Sarah's project.

Fast forward eight years---Scott and I are sitting at Senior Honor's Night watching the same group of students receive ALL of the honors. Now, Sarah is a vigilant student and will graduate with honors. However, when the same boy was awarded every award/honor/scholarship (three scholarships BTW and one for $20,000)! I started to lose my perspective and had thoughts like: "Yeah, I bet his mom has connections with all of those organizations that is why he got those scholarships." By dissing his mother's motives and parenting skills, I thought I would feel better about myself, but I didn't.

I have had similar thoughts when I hear a parent has "made" their son get his Eagle scout award. Or when parents have gone to extremes, so their child can study piano, take dance or experience football camp. I've always thought- "Oh, poor parent, they are living out their wanna-be dream through their kid." And even more sad, "Poooooor kid, he has to live out his parents' dream of what could have been."

But as I read this morning, I had a different thought. Maybe, just maybe, these parents are doing exactly what the author Michelle Wilson is suggesting- seeing their children through God's eyes. These parents see their children's potential better than the child sees himself and so they encourage, suggest, rally and yes, even make their child get their Eagle scout award because they believe the child may start to see what they see, what God sees--an immense supply of potential.

Recently, I've questioned my motives for "encouraging" my kids to accomplish certain goals or tasks. I'm positive, my kids have questioned my motives as well. Am I looking at my children with fear, comparing them to others, comparing my parenting to others or...maybe, just maybe, I'm not as evil as they think?

 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12