Another storm has come. Branches lay all over the yard and the work is still to be done. It’s time to build a burn pile.
I did not do much of that growing up in Brazil, if any; I really can’t recall. Mostly because we lived in houses with a much smaller yard than now or in condos where concrete seemed to be everywhere. Life was rushed between the urgency of accomplishments and fulfillment and there was no time left to see the beauty beyond concrete walls.
Time has passed and now I live in the country. Snakes, cardinals, turtles, hawks and coyotes are part of our lives’ scenario. But there is one particular thing about living in the country that blesses me more than the beauty of God’s creation: the pleasant experience of seeing my husband teaching my kids about farming and how to care for the most ordinary things God has provided us with, like nature, animals and our house.
Caring for our Lives
Life is surrounded with teaching moments for parents to utilize. However, it takes willingness, discipline and many times effort to make them available to the eyes of those precious young ones whose minds are so filled with the enticement of playing another video game or texting a friend, while real life unfolds unnoticed around them.
Watching my husband and kids pick up all the branches after a severe storm called my attention to a true life lesson from the burn pile: storms will come, and pieces will be everywhere. Nevertheless, there has to come a day when we make the point to pick up every branch and every stick, every little piece out of place in our life’s beautiful yard and discard them, literally, burn them to the ground, and move on.
A Lesson for Parents
Don’t we parents also need to learn that lesson? It’s a hard lesson. Some branches are too heavy for us to carry alone. I have watched my kids get together, wrap the big pieces up with a rope and pull them with the four-wheeler. They utilized the tools they had. Other people may use horses to do the job. Some may have to do it on their own, with the help of neighbors and friends. Broken pieces need to be put away– the sooner, the better. They need to be brought to burn piles; otherwise they will be stuck in our way, making it more difficult for us to proceed to our goal.
Just moving branches out of our way is not enough. We have to deal with them. We have to teach our children that principle. It may hurt. It may cause scratches, but it needs to be dealt with. Our children need to learn that mom and dad may not be around them during every storm. Being able to recognize when the storm is coming, when it is happening, when it is time to seek shelter and when it is time to help each other clean up is part of becoming an adult. It’s much easier when you can count on someone else to help you, especially those who know what they are doing. Sound help from experienced people makes a significant difference.
How to Do That
Let’s work together with our kids. It is our job as parents to provide them with opportunities to learn life lessons under our supervision even when it will cost us some time from our comfort zone. Time spent in guiding our kids during their teenage years will produce more confident young adults. They will know what priority level they occupy in their parents’ lives and who they can count on.
Help your children identify the debris in their lives. Develop with them a plan to clean up, and schedule dates to make it happen. Bring all the pieces to a burn pile as an offering– a reasonable sacrifice to the Lord. Now it’s time to set goals for the future, and move on.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14