still life

There’s a fun new place in the blogsphere with lots of great bloggers weighing in. I’m the “one of these things is not like the others” ~ but since they asked, I shared … and will share some of our stuff every so often. Here’s my small addition to their effort @wmparents (which stands for Watermark Parents – It’s our church :) for the day, a post on something that I think about often … busyness.

It happens like it usually does: in the grocery store, at church, sitting by the pool, leaving the doctor’s office, racing into or out of school… I run into a friend.

The conversation begins with genuine niceties: “It’s so good to see you! How are you? How are the kids?” I ask.

This is where it happens. She responds with a Tolstoy-size volume of activities and accomplishments parading through her family. I fight to hear what she’s saying, but my loud thoughts betray my fears. “Are we falling behind?” “I’m not doing any of that.” “Are my kids going to make it?” “Have I ruined them?!”

She ends with, “And what are your kids up to?” I choke on my honest response, “Well… not much.” She politely smiles. We both try to ignore the awkward

Parenting today is like a game of life Monopoly. We race our kids around the board gathering properties. Then hotel-supercharging them with bigger and better accomplishments, we fight to end the day with the most of… everything.

Since busy is the drink of the day, we start almost the minute they take their first breath. DVD player set with the latest educational program sure to have your baby reading by age two and their environment arranged to get the most out of every minute… because we don’t want to get behind or be left out. We load up the car and head to Little Gym so they can learn balance and socialization, race to Emler for infant swim lessons, grow them into soccer teams beginning at age three (Pre-Select at age six), move on to baseball, computer, reading, math, multiple playgroups, Spanish and piano. And later we race to trainers, tutors, community service coordinators, and college application experts.

Then we go back to get a refill in our bottomless busy cup, without realizing that we might be grooming our kids to crave, maybe get addicted to, a full calendar.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (a)

Are you kidding?! If we slow down, everyone else will pass us.

With life these days gravitationally pulling us away from still… are we missing knowing God? How can my kids be still when we race 90-to-nothing just to keep up? By surrendering to – okay embracing – busy are we training our kids to not know God?

When Scripture encourages us to “(t)rain a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it,” (b) might some of the training mean teaching and modeling “still.”

Peace is hidden in still.

Hope resides in still.

Faith and trust permeate still

… because Truth is found in still.

Here’s to muting Ivy League expectations and to taking a breather… and a lingering sip of still.

click here for more topics, and arguably wiser insight: @wmparents

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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