Not too long ago there were two boys living in our house.
In a blink of an eye they’re both men living lives of purpose making a difference in their part of the world.
Time feels relative right?
Our parenting style grew as they did: from teaching & correction, to guidance, to launch & let go. My own upbringing was rough; I purposed to do this parenting thing with intention, hoping for better results. Many voices influenced our thinking but this one stands out:
Mahatma Ghandi: a man of peace. He advocated political and societal change. Ghandi didn’t have the same faith practice I do, but no matter. He believed humanity could change and live respectfully in peace.
That may sound grandiose or fall flat to your ears. I get it. Perhaps your life is hard in this season and you can barely rub two coins together. Or maybe you’re fighting a physical battle that takes all your focus and energy to stay upright. Changing the world is not on your radar now or maybe ever.
Is being responsible for changing the world really what Ghandi meant? Did he want all people to become social activists? What if his thought was for personal, internal change? For you and me to simply be people of integrity, who show kindness to everyone, who care for those less able to care for themselves? Perhaps his words are a call to simple living right where we are, regardless of our means or motivation to change the world?
Each of our sons went through a season of living outside their integrity. We watched and prayed but did not pry. We didn’t lecture or wag our fingers. We knew they would come back to themselves…eventually. Watching and waiting aren’t easy skills in parenting; they’re skills that belong to the Father. We trusted our sons to the Father’s heart for them. In the waiting we grew to love and trust God more. We also grew to love and pray for our sons in deeper ways as well.
We trusted these young men to come back to center in their own time because we trusted God and knew they developed appreciation for Ghandi’s words, thanks to the influence of their great AP English teacher, Eldra Avery. Living outside their integrity wouldn’t allow them to be the change they wanted to see in the world.
Change begins with one. For me, change was my parenting. We made conscious decisions that steered our family in a different direction than the one I was raised in. Others might not catch what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter. That you live out the change you want to bring to your part of the world is the important point.
I call this let go and lean in. Let go of the broken ways and lean in to the Arms waiting to hold and help you grow and change. In that leaning you just might learn more about your part here.
What change will you be?