Parenting is humbling. Parenting teenagers can be downright humiliating. While we instruct and correct we must do so carefully and lovingly, lest we ourselves become the object lessons to our juvenile audience.
Yes, I admit, I am a loser. Let me explain. Last night my kids went with a bunch of their friends on a ski-trip. While they were waiting for the bus, I noticed that my oldest was loosely tucking away a ring we had recently bought him in his coat pocket. When I saw how uncaring he treated this fairly pricy piece of jewelry, I started to give him a piece of my mind. I told him he better give it to me, since his little regard for our gift was so evident. I took it from him, rather annoyed. I safely put it away, knowing it would not get lost on the ski-slopes.
I was definitely right about that. However, this morning I could not find the ring for the life of me. The only thing I remembered, that I had stuck it in my own coat pocket to keep it safe. Now, it was gone. I turned my coat, purse, and half the house apart to find it, no luck.
I started to pray and asked the Lord to help me remember. I did remember. It occurred to me that I had gone to the store after dropping the kids off, and had put my keys, list, and change in the same coat pocket. I must had dropped the ring while pulling any one of those items out.
I grabbed my hat and keys and rushed to the store. Maybe the ring had fallen out in the parking lot. I looked my son in the eyes and told him what had happened. All he said was, “Don’t worry, Mom. It will be OK.”
While driving down the highway, I prayed and told the Lord how sorry I was for not taking better care of the things he had given me. Conviction rushed in over my pride. I looked down, and there in a small storage compartment lay the ring. I had pulled the ring out of my coat the night before and set it down, right here.
I have been asking myself some questions today. How can my Heavenly Father entrust me with something so precious as my life? How often do I fail to see the value of my own life? How often do I loosely squander away the time and waste the gifts He gives me? How readily do I give Him EVERYTHING for safekeeping? Do I think I can do a better job of keeping life safe?
“Father, help me to surrender every part of my life. You are able to care for it. You are able to keep me safe, so much better than I am. Help me to see what parts of my life need to be placed in your safekeeping. Help me to trust You more than I trust myself.”
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
(2 Timothy 1:12)