Because we’d each taken more than our fair share of missteps in the past week, in the car on the way to school the kids and I thanked God for new mornings – for do-overs. Help us to use our time wisely, I prayed aloud on behalf of all of us.
I’ve found myself coming down hardest lately on the faults I see in my kids that most mirror my own. Understanding all too well the internal battle to stay on task and overcome the urge to give way to impulses, I tend to lose my calm and collectedness when attempting to lecture them out of the same traps I still fall into… all. the. time. I feel guilty for not being a perfect prototype of perfect perfection, but this is stupid quite obviously. That kind of guilt – those kind of lofty expectations only hurt my family.
I need to think carefully about the message I live for them, make sure it jives with my world view of there being more to working, being, loving, failing, interacting with one’s neighbor than what meets the mortal eye. “Success,” in light of salvation, has a lot more to do with resiliency than the mastering of our weaknesses.
See, I totally mess up too, I want my sons and daughters to know, but I will never stop trying to be a little more disciplined (charitable, careful with my words, patient) every minute of every day until I die. DO NOT STOP TRYING, my darlings, and do not despair of your shortcomings; God is ever, ever, ever so merciful to the meek and humble. Woe to us, however, if we forget our own vulnerabilities and look down on another for struggling. Don’t screw around with pride – it’s a slippery, hellish, no-good slope to nowhere good. If I teach you nothing else at all, let it be this!
My heart is full of you this afternoon. Forgive me for talking, talking, talking harshly about change instead of falling on my knees to offer you up to Christ, and becoming a better (quieter) example of industriousness and restraint.
For all of our sakes, I now will dust myself off and begin again.
Abba Moses asked Abba Sylvanus, “Can a person lay a new foundation every day?” The old man replied, “If you work hard, you can lay a new foundation every moment.”