May 8, 2016
Learning in the Family
I finally did it. I repeated those words I never thought I would say to my children: “How does it feel to want?” When I was a child, I despised that question. Whenever I asked for something frivolous or unnecessary, that was the response. And to tell you the truth, wanting stinks. Then here comes my daughter, who wants everything on every commercial on TV. She can recite songs and words; she tells me I need to buy Brand X paper towels, since they are the quicker-picker-upper! She remembers everything and wants every-thing she sees.
Then I said it, without even thinking: “How does it feel to want?” Where did it come from? I hated hearing it. Now here I am, a parent myself using that horrible question, and for one brief second, I enjoyed it! My daughter knows she cannot get everything she sees. She knows not to ask (especially repeatedly), so I told her what I had always heard: “How does it feel to want?”
Sometimes our parents’ sayings come out unexpectedly. What we heard, what we learned, who we are, comes from a long line of people who have loved us from the start — our parents, grandparents, stepparents, friends, relatives, siblings, and the list goes on. We have learned coping skills and strategies, life lessons and challenges, the truths and disappointments that come with life. Those lessons from others have shaped us. How will I know who you are? I am in you, and you in me.
Those lessons do not stop when we reach a certain age or milestone. We respond and react as we have been taught. As adults we can make choices and learn to respond in positive ways. The more we allow Christ to enter our lives and work through us, the more Christ will shine out from us. We respond as we have been taught, and with God as our teacher, we can respond in ways that are constructive, helpful, and godly. The morals and values we learned live in us and radiate through us. I am in you, and you in me.
Let the Holy Spirit, who dwells and reigns in the hearts of all, shine out so others know to what family you belongóthe family of God.
Katie Van Der Linden, pastor, Glenwood Moravian Church, Madison, WI