Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Let the kids discover

First, something amusing: God's Inbox (from TIME magazine). The link is a PDF, and I recommend printing it out if it's difficult to read onscreen. A little off color here and there, but I laughed. I suppose the only real quibble I have is the picture is saying God is a Mac user. Ha! Enjoy!

Next, on the subject of kids who don't follow the faith traditions of their families, I really liked Dennis's comment on my blog from the other day:

Sometimes the children have hit on a more perfect path for them than the one they were raised in.

I was raised Roman Catholic, but on becoming an adult, I spent many years in the Evangelical/Charismatic churches. I am now a Methodist who studies the more metaphysical ideas such as Christian Science and New Thought.

My choices were never done out of rebellion, but as a sincere attempt to follow the Spirit.

--Dennis R.

You know how when the kids were small, we were always thrilled with the discoveries they showed us? A dandelion in the seed phase that you could blow, the perfect icicle, a friendly dog. Their eyes would light up in amazement, and we would cheer them on.

I think kids need us to keep cheering them on even as they make deeper internal discoveries, even if those take them down a path we were not expecting. We're excited, for example, if a son shows a talent for photography, even if we were never photographers. We love that our daughter can run a marathon, even if there's no way we ever would. So why do we get all bent out of shape if the house of worship they choose to enter this week differs from ours?

I’m reminded of the fact that there was a time when if you were a blacksmith's son, there was no doubt you'd be a blacksmith yourself. Your very family name, i.e., "Smithson," indicated your profession as well as your relations. And for women, well, the options were marriage, motherhood, in that order, no exceptions. Rising generations had to fight to follow their dreams every step of the way against tradition and expectations. Perhaps this thing about faith tradition is the last vestige of something parents have been instinctively clinging to for centuries.

I'm not trying to downplay the genuine angst parents (myself included) feel on occasion when our kids sock it to us. But I've found that the best course for me is to face what within myself is making me react so strongly, rather than assigning to my children responsibility for my anguish. What am I so afraid of? Facing that squarely, sorting through my own internal issues first, has helped me then know what to say to them, if anything.

What spiritual discoveries are the kids making on their own? What truths are resonating with them as individuals? If we ask the questions, we may be surprised and make a few discoveries ourselves.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 12/06/2006 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

Of course God is a Mac user, Laura. He's the creator of the universe -- a designer. Designers always use Macs. I mean, you wouldn't expect divine Principle itself to tolerate daily run-ins with the Blue Screen of Death, would you? ;)

At 12/06/2006 09:49:00 AM, Blogger Laura said...


But for the record, I haven't gotten the Blue Screen of Death for years.



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