Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Forest of Banyans

Our oldest is now 18. She is passionate about her family, her friends and her faith. In coming to Hawaii, we entered into a new phase of life, the next season, so to speak. She is not a little girl anymore. Having graduated from high school a year early, she was ready to put some feet on her faith and find out what she should be doing with her life. When we first arrived, she was lonely, but God provided friends and she wanted to get to know them. It was scarey to send her out into a world we knew nothing about but we knew that she needed to know we trusted her. We have never set curfews. We only reminded her to wisely choose when to come home. We have never had a list of rules about what she can and can't do. We only asked her to consider whether what she was doing was honoring to the ONE who made her. We never told her that she had to have a certain number of girls or boys in the mix when she went out. We only asked her to be wise and careful at all times. One rule we did have, don't forsake family or faith for friends. Our reasoning was this: We always experience a tension between time away from family so learn to balance it now. And with regard to faith, we were made for a purpose and we won't find it by winning a popularity contest. If we keep our compass pointing to true north, we won't lose our way, our life will be fulfilling and fruitful. The question for us as parents is: with this lack of top down rules, would she make it? Had we provided enough structure for her new freedom? I guess, since she's only 18, the jury is still out...but so far, we are grateful for the way that she is rooting herself. Like the banyan tree, she is sending out aeriel roots and allowing them to firmly embed into the ground. I hope that we will see these roots grow and strengthen. I've heard that when banyans are cut down, extra care must be taken, for the roots, when cut, will snap back and kill you if you're not careful. Imagine a whole forest of banyans, rooting and spreading like a living, unstoppable fortress. That is my prayer for all my children, firmly rooted and unstoppable.

A Paraphrase of Psalm 1

"Blessed is the young adult who does not listen to foolish advice or hang out with those who love to do nothing but mock others and get into trouble.

This person's delight is in God and knowing Him deeply.
They think about His Word and apply it to their lives. Because of this, they are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield fruit in time.

No one needs to be afraid of what they will do or become, for their roots are drinking from the fresh water of the Word of God.
Whatever they do prospers while those who love foolishness and the things of this world can't seem to get anywhere in life.
The Lord watches over these wise ones and blesses everything they do but those who don't know Him are frustrated."

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