Monday, May 20, 2013

The Train Wreck Perspective

There are times when I can just feel other parents disapproval at the way I parent my child.  It burns right through me.  Stabs me in the back sometimes, but no matter.  I have been tasked with raising this child to be a Godly man and that is what I will do.  Like it or not.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.  Eph 6:4

I negotiate with my son.  I engage him and listen to his opinions.  I seek to understand why he does things.  I let him speak his feelings freely to me.  I do this because we are knit together from the same cloth and I get what he needs.  My son will not trust the daily bread if it burns too hot.  For that reason, for his good, I am willing to see from his perspective.

But then... there are times when my perspective trumps his.  Times when he's chasing butterflies down the tracks and only I see the train in the distance.  He's smaller and most often absorbed in his day.  I am bigger.  I can see past the trees.  I know what's coming.  

I've seen the train before.

In these times I say, "Stop!" and I expect him to stop.  No negotiations, no opinions.  Just stop.  This, child, is the line you should not cross.  Trust me.  The train is coming.  You must not go further.

It takes trust to accept the Father's perspective.  Trust like a child.  Small and humble.

Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, and he will lift us up.  James 4:10

I've seen the train before because I am the train wreck, chasing butterflies and wrapped up in my own little world.

Yesterday I got schooled in the ways of trust and obedience by a child, young woman really, just graduating high school, who was sent to deliver a God-breathed message to my church on a very difficult day. 

She shared with us her trials from the past year:  worrying over her grades, arguing with a friend, confusion over the future.  She said that no matter what we are going through, there's a Bible verse for it.  And she said it in wide-eyed, utterly trusting belief, the belief of a girl who had simply rested her small grasp in her Father's knowing and let him lead her safely across the tracks.

We could easily dismiss her words.  It's too simple.  It's high school.  We're bigger.  Our problems are bigger.  Our consequences are bigger.  It's not the same.

Or is it?  That is a matter of perspective.

Because from the perspective of the throne of the One Holy God, we are all children misbehaving- looking to others for approval, not getting along, not trusting in His wisdom.

Stop child.  The train is coming.  You must not cross that line.

But we cross.  And we crash.  And we suffer for it.

There is hope.  From the train wreck perspective, we are all the same- low and on our knees.  From the train wreck perspective, our eyes are closed and we see only what the Spirit reveals.  From the train wreck perspective, the hem of His robe does indeed fill the temple.  From there, and only there, can we reach to touch it and be healed.  

She said to herself, “If I only touch his robe, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.  Matthew 9: 21-22