Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday. One of the things she has done ever since she could physically do it, is making her bed first thing in the morning. She must get that from my spouse, because I was never that way as a kid. I was the kid who philosophized my way out of making my bed by arguing that I was just going to get in it again later, so why make it now? But she is different. Every day, she wakes up and makes her bed. It is like she saw that General’s speech so many years ago when he spoke to West Point graduates and told them to make their beds if they want to be successful.
I bet psychologists could have a field day with this quirkiness in both our personalities, but I like to think that we complement one another in this way. We aren’t the same. We like different things, have different strengths, and different weaknesses. I just pray that on my worst days as a father that I don’t mess up too badly.
I read recently in a book by Brene Brown that we are to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. I think very often parents see themselves as “road graders,” making it as easy as possible for their children to succeed. But I like this quote because I think it is how God deals with us, God’s children. Jesus tells us that he is the way, but we are to walk in it, and therefore so much of what we do in church is to prepare the children for the path. We are going to face hard things in our lives. We are going to have to make hard decisions where we do not know which one will be most successful. We are going to lose, and we are going to fail. Fear and doubt will continue to have a powerful voice. However, because we are prepared by God for the path, we will be okay. We have God, and we have the community of God continually preparing us for the path.
Embry Hills has prepared thousands of children of God for the path in front of them. It has an incredible witness and ministry. Our church is asking now that we give so we can continue to prepare children for that path because it will be the best thing we can do for the lives of those in Christ. I hope you and your families will be able to join us later this week on either Thursday, April 28th, or after worship on Sunday, May 1st for a meal and discussion of all the ways we can continue to prepare children of God for the paths of life and life abundant.