“If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows – the only food that any possible universe can ever grow – then we must starve eternally.” – C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
A crazy number of my friends are finding themselves in the agonizing process of watching their children walk down the road of ruin. These are good parents who did the best they knew, and yet somehow it’s all turned out so terribly wrong.
It’s made me think about how reality is wrapped up in God and in His Kingdom. When we turn our back on the Father we walk away from the world as it is. A person cannot simultaneously resist God and embrace life because they are wrapped so tightly together. To resist God is to resist purpose, health, joy and relationship. Such a choice will yield loneliness, addiction and mental illness as surely as jumping into a fire will produce pain.
God doesn’t punish modern day prodigals any more than the Father punished his prodigal son. The choice is its own punishment. Sons and daughters weren’t made for pigsties nor brier patches, and when we abandon the Father’s outrageous love to live in the land of illusion it is we who thrash ourselves.
We were made for a kingdom. My hope is that when the children have had their fill of living against nature, the Kingdom will beckon their feet back into the land of the living.
This is what it looks like right now in my part of the country. Friday (Oct. 16) I leave to teach for two weeks in Kona Hawaii. There I’ll be seeing a different kind of glory reflecting yet another facet of the beauty of God.
6 thoughts on “Banging our heads against reality”
Don- You surely are hard to keep up with- but well worth the effort !! Guess you still haven’t made it to Florence. Anyway. Bon Voyage – Blesings and smiles Janet
You are articulating with veracity what is on my heart re. my 2nd born. I take comfort in knowing that she is “sandwiched” between my lst and 3rd born, a sort of hedge of protection. Thx for being a friend of our family. . . and a friend of God! De
Agonizing is a good word for it, Don. I cannot fathom the ache in our Father’s heart for His wayward children. I am learning that this pain is part of the cost of having a love that is given freely…not coerced, not chided nor threatened into respectful submission, but rather wooed gently and powerfully by acts of self-sacrifice. The Lord calls some of us parents to bear this cross and share this suffering. My prayer is that we bear it with grace and be strengthened by the joy set before us – a true relationship. Thanks for remembering us in your prayers, Don.
It is really hard to see the direction my oldest daughter is going. I cannot do anything but love her and pray for God to change her heart. The Bible says when we pray, have faith and do not doubt, that God will answer our prayers. God can move a “mountain”
Thank you for your blogs that make you really think about God and his kingdom.
I think it would be great if you put them in a book for everyone to read.
You still didn’t update a ” history ” on your web site 😛
Don, I am a relatively “new parent” having married Tonya back in May (09) and she already had 9 year old Harley. I have learned that I am both learning and leading. I am leading him through stuff that my Dad taught me about when I was 8, 9 and 10. I am also finding out how important it is to sorround him with Godly things. He likes cartoons and video games but he also gets a healthy dose of church and Sunday School and Bible reading. We pray every week as a family and we pray with him every night before bedtime. I hope…. by God’s grace, that this shows him the way to go as he gets older. I know that he will make choices as age allows and comes about. My hope is as yours is, that he will, if he strays, return to his Godly teachings and ways. My ultimate hope is that he will never stray. Thank you for your Godly thoughts.