Friday, November 20, 2009

Answer to a young friend

A few weeks ago you asked me why your parents wouldn't simply let you make your own mistakes. You were angry and anguished. I didn't answer you then: I knew you needed a loving heart and an open ear more than a quick brain. Here is what I might have said if you'd asked me and hoped for an answer.

Imagine that you've just gotten your driver's license. You found an old motorcycle on Craigslist and mechanically minded friend helped you rehab it. The bike has no sweetness, but it runs. Finally you have some freedom.

You read on the internet that running muriatic acid through your tank will flush out all the old built-up gunk. You don't read the whole article (especially not the part that says to remove the tank from the bike first, wear goggles, etc), and so you snag a big bottle of pool cleaner.

I see you standing there with the bike propped up and running and the pool cleaner in hand. Should I let you pour it in?

Suppose I did exactly the same thing when I had my bike, to disastrous results. How about then? Should I let you pour it in, knowing you really value both your bike and your life?

And if I love you very much, and know what it took for me to get past the whole muriatic-acid incident, and never ever want you to have to go through that...

And if I know that the cost is just too high, that the lesson you would learn simply isn't worth it...

My dear young friend:

I can't speak for your parents, but I know that I want you to make your own mistakes. I want you to learn from actually living. And, I want you to never, ever go through some of the things I've been through. Ever. Because the lessons learned just aren't worth it.

Because I love you, I will do everything I can to help you skip those particular lessons. Not because I don't trust you, or don't want you to learn, or think I always know better, but because I love you enough and have survived by the grace of God long enough to want you to not destroy yourself, or someone else.

Hope that helps. I'm praying for you, and my ears and heart are always open.

Pastor Elane

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