Thursday, December 15, 2016


"NO! I don't wanna go to the doctor!  I wanna watch Dora!"

"Just let me sleep in, dad.  I don't want to go to school."

"Don't take away the Wifi!  I can do the stupid dishes later! Stop!"

"Why shouldn't I have a car?  I'm 16 and I've passed my driver's exam.  I'm old enough."

"You never understood me!"

"I hate you.  I HATE YOU!"

And the parent waits, patiently.  She waits expectantly. The child must grow, become more than he is.  Not that his present state is bad.  Just unfinished.

The parent does understand.  He had to pass through all of these minor deaths, these sheddings of the past self. He needed someone to stand for him, to press him on toward maturity, when he wouldn't do it himself.

Growth is always better when accomplished by one's choice-- most of the time it doesn't happen any other way.  But every single one of us have faced a time when growth had to be forced on us, when we did not have the discipline or wisdom to accomplish the next step of maturity on our own.  When we were so caught up in ourselves, in our problems, in our pain, that we had no idea that we were the problem.  That we had to be taken out of the equation in order for growth to occur.

Forced growth is anger-inducing, forcing us to face our greatest fear: that we are inadequate for the future.  Although surrounded by many who have been through that same process, we scream about our complete solitude, how no one could possibly understand.

Thank you, Father, for patiently leading us to greener pastures, even through the valley of the shadow of death. 

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