Friday, November 13, 2009
At this moment, I am contemplating where my children will be in the next 10-20 years. No, this is not a post about prophecy or how bad the world is becoming and how we need to change it. I am thinking about the sweet faces of my babies (don't tell my 12 year old I just called him a baby!) and wondering what they will look like in the next couple of decades.
Will I have photos of my seven children smiling with the spouses they love and who love them? Will some of those photos be in the form of missionary prayer cards? I wonder if they will have children who look like they do now, allowing me to remember today far into the future. My desire is that the love, joy, and peace of Jesus Christ shines on all seven of their precious faces until the day they take their last breath.
So many Christian parents have the same desires and dreams I have. Yet, think of the people you know who have led a hard life - a life of sin, crime, immorality, greed, and gluttoness. Think of the hardened rock star you see on the magazine covers, the homeless man you saw walking downtown last week, the 20 year old girl who has three children and doesn't know who their fathers are. Each of them were sweet little babies, toddlers, and children. Their parents have their child-like images smiling at them from school pictures, birthday party pictures, and pictures of everyday life. When that moment was caught 10 years ago, the day they checked their son into rehab was not even a thought.
Could that happen to my children?
Will their faces show signs of pain, bitterness, and sorrow? Will any of them have gone to the world and tasted it's temporary pleasures only to find themselves growing old before their time? Will I look back at a picture of my one of my sons when he was just three and smiling in the midst of his babyfat only to have the tears fall thinking of him sitting in a jail cell or on the street with no place to go and addicted to drugs? Will one of them become famous - a ball player, an actress, a supermodel, a rock star - and, though smiling, will anyone see the pain in their eyes knowing what it cost them to become a superstar? Will they remember the home they came from and the Jesus they once sung about or will they feel nothing but emptiness as they buy a bigger and better house or faster car attempting to fill the void?
The path that they take is ultimately their choice. But, while I walk that path beside them, I will do everything I can, by God's strength and grace, to lead them in the right direction. I pray that in 10-20 years none of my children will have aged prematurely and look at me with vacant eyes due to veering off the path, but will have youthful smiles and gaze on me with bright eyes as I say, "I have no greater joy than to know my children walk in truth."