20 September 2009
What I Want To Do
What is now proved, was once only imagined. - William Blake
There are some things that I long to feed my children every day.
And it isn't food for their stomachs.
I want to offer them a sense of mystery. The incredible blessing of a vivid imagination. The gift of simple joy. The beauty of anticipation. The knowledge of a powerful and loving God. The appreciation of nature. The ability to be still.
Food for their brains. Their hearts. Their souls.
I know I fail miserably every day with these lofty ideals.
And I always fail more dramatically on days when I forget to pursue these things myself. When I never step outdoors and just breathe. When I rush us all from task to task. On days when I don't laugh at Mosely's jokes. When, instead of actually listening to London practice her counting skills, I make a grocery list.
What I want, what I really want, is to wake up every morning and pursue these kids. Pursue their education. Pursue their affections. Pursue their interests. To be alive with them. To stop and stare at the never-before-seen green caterpillar with the two brown spikes poking off its back. To marvel at the fact that Berg correctly copied an entire sentence from London's paper. To encourage Riley as she studies for her Spanish quiz. To slow down. To practice being still.
I know I cannot teach what I don't have. I know I cannot expect my children to pursue God if I am not.
How can they learn to be still if I am always rushing past them?
I want my children to think and ponder and to dream and imagine. And to work through all the mysteries and pains and joys of life. With an artist's eye for details. With a poet's heart for passion. An actor's flair for the dramatic. A writer's bent for the ironic. And with a believer's desire to find God in the middle of it all.
And, yeah, I know something else too.
They can't follow where I haven't lead.
So every morning, I want to wake up and remind myself that I am living an opportunity to impact this world in the form of six very different and very capable little arrows - my children. My legacy. My job. My mission.