Inheriting God's Gifts
Recently, while watching our older son dance and sing on stage while dressed as the most hideous bride one has ever seen, one comment -whispered in the darkness of a small theater - caused my husband to shake with laughter.
“He gets that from me.”
We throw the comment around often, pulling it out when our sons do something particularly stellar. Sometimes the statement is twisted into “he gets this from you,” depending on whether the situation is positive or negative. Awesome free-throw skills? All me. Forgetting their homework? Without a doubt from the husband’s side of the family.
All of this is done in fun, of course. We, like all parents, take great pride in our sons and their accomplishments.
As much as I’d like to take credit for all of their amazing talents, I know I cannot. Because genetics aside, as much as we like to point out their pointy elf ears (his side of the family) or piercingly loud voices when over-excited (perhaps a little bit from me), we know that there is nothing they have inherited that does not come from a higher power. And our job is not to let our pride grow, but to work to make God proud of the job we are doing while entrusted with their care.
We have the opportunity to take credit for ourselves. After all, we’re the ones putting in the time reading bedtime stories each night, encouraging them to practice musical instruments and sports, taking them to church on Sundays. It’s tempting to keep the spotlight of their growth on “me.”
But truthfully, we would have no success or growth in our lives if God did not see fit to give us the opportunities to succeed. The brainpower, the education, the drive, the privilege of living in a country with all basic needs met: all gifts bestowed by Him.
The spotlight of blame can burn just as bright when our children fail. We fail God daily, and our children will fail in their daily lives as well. We are then tasked with the responsibility of helping children see the consequences of their actions and hopefully learn a lesson moving forward.
As God forgives, we forgive, for as author C.S. Lewis wrote, “I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”
Steve Dabrowski, director of youth and young adult ministry of the Diocese of Evansville, spoke to a crowd of several hundred middle school students, teachers, parents, administrators and community leaders during the annual Serra Club luncheon for vocation awareness. As the keynote speaker, Dabrowski eloquently shared his life story of discerning God’s plan for him. After a life of searching, he has found his “home” with wife and daughter.
Dabrowski recited a blessing he prays over his young daughter each day as he leaves for work: "Most Gracious Heavenly Father, please lead my daughter on the path that you know will lead her to her greatest fulfillment. Fill her life with signs and indications that will help her know the path you are calling her to walk. And give her mom and me the strength to support her on this path, knowing it will lead to you."
I was moved by his prayer for his little one and made a commitment to myself to add it to my own daily prayer.
“Lord, give me patience.”