Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stuff that Matters

I love the moment where my kids begin to own their stuff. I don’t mean the physical junk that clutters the floor of their rooms. I mean the deep inside passion about things that mean the most to them. It’s the stuff that announces who they are and what matters the most. It is the stuff that makes you hope that you haven’t screwed them up by being a lousy parent.

When my oldest daughter Emily walks onto a basketball court and digs a little deeper to dive for a loose ball that makes me excited. When she talks about wanting to avoid places and parties she knows she doesn’t need to be at, that makes me proud.

When my youngest daughter Kimberly reads four levels above her grade level I am proud. When she is disgusted with injustice, it makes me excited. When she gets upset because kids are mean to other kids, it brings me joy.

This morning I had a moment with my son, Zach. He is in seventh grade and in public school for the first time. Today was the first See You at the Pole gathering for him at his new school. It is when Christians gather at the flag pole of their school to pray for their school. Zach was excited about going and he and I went over to the school an hour early so he could join in with others. No one else came.

Zach was crushed. He was actually a little mad. He couldn’t understand why no one else was there. He kept saying, “Why don’t Christians show their true colors?” For an hour we sat in the car and talked about it. I tried to encourage him and help him understand all the factors that may be involved, but he wasn’t buying it.

Zach prayed for his school. He prayed that Christians would stand up for what they believe. He prayed that people would do what was right. He prayed that he would show his “true colors.” Zach prayed that God would show up with power at his school that “no force” (his words) could stop. And all the while his dad was convicted that this little man has a passion that I underestimate so often.

This is the stuff that matters. This is the deep passion that I have prayed would develop in my kids. I have prayed that they would not follow my miserable excuse for a Christian life when I was a teenager, but that they would have a desire that nothing can stop. And this morning, it made me cry.

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