Saturday, August 20, 2011


I like to play this game with my family and friends where I challenge us to consider how much money it would take to do something beyond our comfort level. Typically, it's about eating something that may disgust us, eating more than we could handle, or placing ourselves in a situation that would be extremely frightening to us. While I could spend a lot of time dissecting the fact that I use money as the item of enticement, or that I use food and fear as the challenge, the point here of mentioning my silly little game is something else entirely. Well, I think so.

My oldest daughter recently turned 12. It's the end of her tween years. Being a teenager is just around the corner. She's starting 7th grade. Her life is a whirlwind of change. For that matter, so is mine. So, I took her out to lunch for a father-daughter talk over sushi. She was thrilled, and I was perfectly centered. Yes, I lie.

I want my children to live a life that honors God, others, and themselves. Smoking and drinking and taking drugs, sexual encounters, inappropriate clothing and language and music and television and movies - all of it and more scare me when it comes to my children. We expect so little of our youth, and they are capable of so much more. Our sinful nature and God's perfect grace need not and should not be our excuse for throwing caution to the wind.

My daughter listened to what I had to say. I invited her to read a book I loaned her, Do Hard Things. We chatted about some difficult topics. And, we challenged one another to eat some fish eggs. Then, I asked her how much it would take for her to eat 2 or 3 or 10 or 20 more rolls. Amidst the laughter I stated explicitly what she already knew. The hard things I was asking her to do didn't have to do with fish eggs or sushi rolls. Rather, they had to do with things that wouldn't always be popular, but they certainly would always be right.

She'll continue to make mistakes, just like I do. And, she'll continue to do easy things, just like I do. But, I also have faith that she'll keep learning and growing, striving to love others above herself, and - above all else - trying to love God and accept His love and perfect grace ... just like I do.

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