My Inadequacies

There are two types of parents in this world.  Those that try and those that view parenting a necessary evil, the price we must pay to continue the human race.  Of those who try, I have often thought surely I must be the worst.  Oh, I have tried.  From the word go, I have read the parenting books, watched the videos, prayed, struggled and determined to do my best.  But perpetually, when faced with a crossroads, when given the opportunity to go left or go right, I have undoubtedly chosen the wrong path.  I have overreacted and under-reacted and failed to react at all.  I have lost my temper, lost my confidence and quite frankly lost my sanity.  Then finally, I have resolved to follow some valuable advice.  One morning, I confessed to a friend of mine that surely I was never intended to be a parent at all.  Surely, I had somehow missed my calling and chosen the wrong path from the very beginning.  Motivated by a desire to serve God and to make a difference in His world I began this family from my own longing to impact humanity and failed to consider the reality of this service.  Not to mention the fact that I had no prior experience with children, no brothers or sisters, no baby-sitting, just a warped disillusion that somehow through this crazy endeavor we'll call parenting I would be given the opportunity to serve God every moment of every day and in this I would impact the world for generations to come.  Sounds great…if you’re writing a greeting card, but hardly the formula for a secure, loving, even mildly functional version of family.  As I poured out my heart, he smiled and said knowingly, “You know who you sound like don’t you?” 

“No, who?” I replied, thoroughly confused.

 “Moses,” with certain and definitive calmness.

 “Moses?”

“Filled with excuses for why you can’t do this.”

“Moses.”

I laughed but what he said slowly sunk in.  Moses was filled with excuses.  And God was determined to use him.  Prior to that moment, I had always believed that Moses was filled with those excuses out of a genuine fear of all that God was calling him to do.  From that moment on, I could see Moses’ genuine concern that God’s plan would not come to pass out of his shear incompetence.  Moses and I bonded at that moment.

He went on to say later that morning that I should pray that God would give me peace. No matter the outcome. He also told the parable of the seeds. Some of them fell on rocky ground. Some of them fell on fertile ground.  Some of them would grow and produce much fruit.  Others would not.  Either way, we don’t stop sowing. (Matthew 13: 1-8, Mark 4:1-9 and Luke 8:4-8)  He told me his own story of spending some 30 years out of God’s will.  Growing up a trouble maker.  He also went on to say, he felt like all of this was merely training so that he might do God’s will now.  His past failures allowed him to reach the hearts of more people.  “You don’t know what God’s going to do. You can’t see the end result,” he stressed.

 Photo by Geoffrey Whiteway

Photo by Geoffrey Whiteway

This was a turning point for me.  I began to pray for peace.  I began to pray that God would help me to be a good parent - merely for the sake of being a good parent - regardless of outcome.  I accepted my failures.  And I can promise you there are many.  I believed that God was bigger than me or my failures or my triumphs for that matter.  And that He wanted to use me not because of who I am, but because of who He is.  You know the Bible commends Moses for being the most humble man alive. “Now Moses was very humble – more humble that any other person on Earth.” (Numbers 12:3 NLT)  Perhaps, it is only through an unobstructed view of our failures that we begin to see God clearly.  And perhaps, when we begin to acknowledge that it is only because of the grace of a Holy and Sovereign God that we even exist. In that moment, we become an instrument in the hand of the Master sculpting eternity.

Posted on September 1, 2014 .