Friday, June 27, 2014

Naked Rain Dance

dis·cern·ment

  [dih-surn-muhnt, -zurn-] 
noun
1.
the faculty of discerningdiscrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding.
2.
the act or an instance of discerning.
Origin: 
1580–90;  < Middle French discernement,  equivalent to discern er to discern + -ment -ment


Of all the things I could ever give my kids, what I want them to have the most are intangible but more valuable than any material possession they could ever buy.

Wisdom.

Discernment.

I can and frequently do impart my own wisdom (if you want to call it that--I call it "experiences" and "dumb mistakes I made that you shouldn't"), but it's completely up to them whether they use what I've told them to their advantage or not.  This is probably one of the most frustrating things about parenting. They have their own minds. And sometimes they do not choose to use that precious asset.

A friend of mine had to go pick up a baseball net from a local elementary school field. It's a field where we've played often, underneath a steep hill, a playground and an elementary school. Hidden by trees on two sides from all the surrounding houses and apartments, the hill on the third, and with a creek that leads into woods on the fourth, this is the ideal spot to hang out, do nothing (or something) and not be seen by anybody. So the story goes that as my friend was driving to this particular field to pick up his baseball net, it started to rain in sheets, so he wasn't expecting company when he pulled into the gravel lot at the back of the field.

google images

Apparently, neither were the several teenagers that were using the field to do their rain dance in.

Naked.

Or nearly there.

I believe both parties were equally surprised and embarrassed at the spectacle.

When I heard the story, I couldn't help but think a couple of things.

A) what were they thinking?
B) why are teenagers so stupid?

I mean, come on. What exactly was the plan here? To dance around a baseball field that, although mostly hidden, is in fact in close proximity to neighboring houses, apartments and an elementary school? Did you really think that no one would see you? Did you care? Do your parents know where you are?

Are you high?

(I don't know why, I  usually always sometimes suspect teenagers of being high on something, perhaps to explain away their illogical and absurd behavior. If you are a teenager, act like a teenager, or are still a teenager at heart, I apologize profusely and also feel sorry for you. I'm sorry. There are good teenagers out there, I know.)

And I also thought C) how can I help my kids to think wisely and make good and smart decisions?

They won't always. I know this. There is a certain amount of trial-and-error associated with growing up. Sometimes we have to learn a hard lesson, and the only way we can learn it is by taking the fall.

I don't always think wisely either, but it's a prayer I pray over myself and my family daily.

God's word says that when we ask for it, He (in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge) will give us wisdom--and give it generously.

And all we have to do is ask.

If any of you lacks wisdom, 
you should ask God, 
who gives generously to all without finding fault, 
and it will be given to you.
{james 1:5}

I found a book by Stormie O"Martian that offers daily prayer for kids, called The Power of the Praying Parent. And since I have this daily habit of needlessly worrying about every move my kids make (am I letting them watch too much tv or am I stressing them out by not letting them relax--that kind of thing, and obviously the major worries that most parents are concerned about as they watch their kids grow up), I really need to transform my worries into prayers and take them directly to God. Otherwise, I'll end up having a stroke from all the worrying I do. Which isn't worth it.

So when I read a couple of prayers about receiving wisdom and discernment, combined with the promise that when you ask it will be given to you, I was immensely relieved. All they have to do is ask and they will receive. All I have to do is ask and I will receive.

All you have to do is ask and you will receive.

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