When I think of all that my children will need to learn in order to understand and navigate this vast world, my vision blurs. What a long road ahead of them -- learning to read, to ride a bike, to add and subtract fractions, to tell time on an analog clock, to conjugate verbs, to memorize the state capitals, to survive middle school, to parallel park, and one day to leave home voyage out on their own.
So, so, so much to learn.
I want my children to learn the value of hard work and perseverance. I want them to learn not to fear failure or rejection, not to compare themselves with others, and not to gauge their worth based upon narrow metrics like their popularity, appearance, or performance.
I want them to learn these same lessons I've struggled to learn over the years, understanding that they'll face their own challenges when internalizing them. (After all, some degree of struggle seems to be an integral part of the learning process.)
But if I could simplify what I most want my children to learn, it all points to one thing -- actually, to one person. I want them to learn the unparalleled freedom found in a relationship with Christ. I want them to experience the paradox of how losing your life -- your rights, your say, your wants -- allows you to find your life in the truest sense.
It's counter-cultural. It's revolutionary. It's misunderstood.
It's also glorious.
Each day, I relearn this, often because I mess matters up on my end. I focus on myself, my agenda, my issues, my hurts, and my hang-ups. This never works. But on those days when I ask God to make his priorities my priorities, all the other pieces fall into place. The result is peace -- not striving, not angst, not stress, not confusion.
It's not just my children who have so, so, so much to learn. It's me, too. How wonderful to have a patient, faithful teacher who walks with you every step of the way.