20 My son, keep your father’s command
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life (Proverbs 6)
Well, it was drive back out to TPA (Tampa International Airport) yet again Sunday morning. Andrew was home for all of maybe ten hours this time, en-route from Central America to his home in Southern Europe: Nicaragua; Miami; Tampa; Philadelphia; Munich; Florence; Pisa. Piling on the miles. It’s no wonder they gave him one of those platinum cards and an extra bag of peanuts!
The mission trip was a success, and both Rebekah and I have been hearing beaucoups of good things about Andrew from the other team members. And I must admit to harboring a certain amount of pride, sitting next to him in church. “Yeah, that’s my son, right there; chip of the old block; taught him everything he knows…”
NOT! Well, I taught him a few things maybe, but nowhere near everything – and he’s certainly much more than a chip off any kind of a block. Andrew is his own person, 100%, and that’s what makes Rebekah and I feel so good about all of this. Our kids are so much more than extensions of me, or Rebekah. Both Andrew and Naomi have become these awesome young adults, and they have their own way of relating to life, and I believe they are both well on the way to making their world a better place.
If Rebekah and I have accomplished anything at all well, then I believe it has been in the realm of laying the groundwork, tilling the soil. We set things in motion the best we could – what they have done with it has been up to them.
- We raised our children in a way that ensured they knew without a doubt how much they are loved…
- We raised them to know and love God…
- We raised them on our knees and from our knees, because we knew it was a bigger task than we could accomplish on our own…
- We raised them in the context of the community of faith for the same reason…
- We raised them to understand that struggle is part of the definition of life, but also that redemption is always available because God is faithful…
- We raised them to be well-equipped to take life to the next level – if they chose to pick up the ball…
- We raised them to love and respect other people…
- We raised them to take responsibility…
- We raised them to be both self-sufficient and to rely on God.
At face value that last one sounds like a it could be a contradiction. But it’s not. Learning to rely on God is a key element of self-sufficiency. Because self-sufficiency is all about tapping the resources available. Those resources include learning, and hard work, and creativity, and community… and an ongoing relationship with the Creator. Including an active relationship with God is the most crucial element of what it means to live a fully engaged life.
Today is another Monday morning. I pray that we all head into this week determined to make the most out of it, and to do our very best as people living “The life-charged life”. Knowing that our children, Andrew and Naomi – along with Craig, are living that way gives us one more reason to celebrate.
In faith, and out of hope – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.