Monday, March 12, 2007

Why do We Hate the Basics?

I've been wondering about this for a long time. Anybody you ask, on any subject, not just horses, will agree that laying a good foundation first, and often going back to the basics, even when advanced, is a very important practice. In fact, usually articles/books of advice on every subject will stress that the more advanced you are the more important it is to go back to the basics.

So, my question is, why do so few people follow this advice? Yes, the horse world has its share in this, but my rant for today is broader in scope. For every skilled activity there are a lot of people who want to do well, but can't seem to put in the effort necessary. That's why I made a decision a long time ago not to be an "artist." If I put in the hours and practice necessary, I might get pretty good, but it's not where my passion is. It's fine to try things out and see if you like something enough to do it wholeheartedly, to just dabble in it. But, you cross a line if you start saying you love this activity or are committed to something, but you don't ACT at all like what you are saying.

For example, I know a LOT of parents who never really built a solid foundation of trust, love, and obedience with their children. They often have fooled themselves into thinking they have done their best for their children, and thus it can't be their fault that the kids eventually grow up selfish, rebellious, distant, resistant, and unable to relate to other people in a functional, mature, and balanced manner. PLEASE don't take me wrong! There are of course many cases where the parents cannot possibly be blamed for how kids turn out. And unfortunately a lot of times very good people raise their children the best they can, and the kids still make bad choices - every human is ultimately responsible to God for his/her own choices.

But, there are many, many cases I have seen where parents did not do their God-given duty as parents. They did not lay the foundation for life that is the primary job of a parent. I believe that when I have children someday, (hopefully) that my first responsibility will be to make them strong in the basics. Basics like ability to truly love and receive love, ability to adapt to life's challenges, a thirst for knowledge and learning, the ability to be content and have a purposely thankful attitude most of the time, the ability to control anger... etc. This is definitely a hard job! People that have done this have my utmost respect. And yes, just as with horse training, it takes time. A LOT of time, which means sacrifices.

I think knowing the above, and having a standard to attempt to reach, might be very discouraging to contemplate, which might be why people don't usually sit down and think through their parenting goals. But this should NOT make us discouraged. At times it will seem like an overwhelming task, but as Christian parents, if we are truly walking in step with God, being soft to his hand on the reins, we don't have to be perfect! All that is required is to be responsive to Him, and God will take care of the rest! (Some people think that all that is required is to mean well, and have good intentions. NOT TRUE. What I am saying is we need to both mean well and listen for God's voice - we can make mistakes when we truly mean well, but if we are being soft to His cues, he can and will correct us). I believe that gives us a lot of freedom as parents, and should make us give a sigh of relief. ;-D

Also, and very important, God is the God of redemption. If your parents did not do their duty, did not even come close to the standard God has for parents, and if they did a lot of damage to you - guess what! If we are breathing, (which I assume you are if you're reading this!) then no matter what choices you or other people have made, and no matter how badly they affected you, God can begin to restore you to wholeness. It's true. Believe it. I have seen this process happen so many times already in my short life - we're all wounded to some extent as we travel through life, and the older I get the more I realize that the only real way to heal from life is to give myself to God. He is MY Good Shepherd, and that is SOO comforting. 'Cause, as I said above, that means HE is responsible for my life - food, clothes, growth, care, direction, shelter - everything. ALL that I have to worry about is if I'm paying attention to Him and obeying!

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm -- my great army that I sent among you." Joel 2:25

God promises to restore the things the locusts have eaten in our lives if we let Him...

Anyway, back to the title of this post. :-) Why do we hate the Basics?


No comments: