Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Child Like Faith

Do you remember when you were a teenager at the pinnacle of your lifetime intelligence curve? Those were the days when you were surrounded by the friend-trust, a pool of genetically altered humans with a perceived combined IQ of 456,789. Do you remember savoring the defeat of the parental units in your well planned attack to use the car for something other than bringing a younger sibling to school! Those were the glory days. you said, I am eighteen, I am an adult and I am independent... well except that your mom was still buying your toilet paper and washing your sheets.

So what is it that we parents don't know that our kids seem so confidant about? After all, I am the one that has traveled to 15 countries, seen 42 states and 36 national parks. I have degrees in music, art, computer science and theology. I have read nearly 1,000 Christian books from Kuhlman to Lake, Wigglesworth to Nee. I have worked as a hamburger flipper, a carpenter, a music, photography and computer teacher, a radio DJ, a travel writer, a missionary and a software engineer.... whew, not to mention that I work in 21 different languages during the course of my day-to-day job. I thought I didn't know, but I think I do.

When I talk to my kids, I want to support them, and help them take the easier softer path. They don't often choose that, but my 21-year-old thinks I am pretty slick by the way in which I helped her get a great job in this economy. She went in like a typical kid to the interview. She didn't have a car, or the money to buy one. So, she thought that was important to tell the interviewer that. Apparently the interview went pretty cold about the time she finished that sentence. Thank God she is honest-- all the years of Christian school paid off!

She was feeling rather low as I drove her back to her dorm. After all this was the job that she really wanted after working years of weekends and summers at a pharmacy chain. Now that she is partially recovered from knowing everything, she asked me what I thought. I said, "how about you write the interviewer an email, and tell her thanks. Oh and BTW - my dad said that he would make sure that I can get to work if I get the job. I look forward to hearing from you." A few days passed, and I had her send another email. "I haven't heard from you, and I know that you need someone to start work on Black Friday. I am available that day as I am not going home for the Thanksgiving break. Just let me know what hours you need covered." She got the job.

After she started, the interviewer, now a co-worker told her that she was very concerned about the car situation, and would not have considered her except for the emails of reassurance. Score one for dad!

Now that she and I can talk more deeply using English instead of the tribal grunts and rolling eyes, I asked her about church. Actually I asked her why she doesn't like to go anymore. "It's lame, dad. and too freakin' looooong."

"What's lame about it?"

"Well no one talks to us (her and her sister). You know that girl that runs the young adults? She said she would call me and never did. So I sent her Facebook message and she still didn't respond. That's just retarded."

"Really, wow."

"Yeah, and everyone already has friends. I don't need friends like that. I am looking for someone to do stuff with, go to shows, and hang out. You know most of the kids at school drink and party, and I am straight edge and they don't really like me."

"Well what would you change about church?"

"Well I liked that church we went to in CT, the one where they had some really rockin' music, and the youth pastor was on fire. And all the kids said hello, and gave me their IM's and stuff. Can't we just go back there?"

"It's really far (like 170 miles), but maybe once in awhile."

"I just don't understand how they can call themselves Christians, they don't talk to anyone they don't already know."

"Maybe we could try some place else?"

"Why bother. When we needed help, during the divorce, no one called us either. No one really cares at church."

Maybe my kids are smarter than I give them credit for.

2 comments:

Carol Adams said...

I can relate to what your daughter said about church. Both my kids, now 26 and 28 were 'burned' in church youth groups.
The one they were in was run by a couple who meant well, but a lot of legalism went on. We as parents should have known that.
Many church youth groups unfortunately are like secular groups in many ways with clicks and such.
And that group my kids were in : a few had out of marriage pregnancies and the majority got sick and tired or church and left.
I am glad to say that my son still has his faith intact. My daughter did not. Somewhere around the end of high school she starting moving away from the Lord.
Once she hit college, forget it, any faith in God she had left she left at the door.
Liberal teachers, total freedom to do as you like, and classes in other religions really clinched the nasty deal.
Things New Age were embraced and now she has sadly been a Scientologist for two years.
Who is to blame ? Surely we made mistakes and church did to.But she is responsible for her own decisions.
I'm sure there are youth groups that are run well, But, I learned too late not to depend on them too much.
On a brighter side it is a joy when your young adult child takes your advice and follows up on it
Finally, they are at the point when parents know 'some' things.
They are a joy, no matter what age. And keeping the doors open even when we don't embrace their lifestyle is so important.
And after much prayer we look forward to the day that they say "Mom, Dad I want to follow this Jesus"
Carol Adams

Tevet said...

Awesome picture of your girls, David!
Think of all the people that have reasons to say "Why bother. When we needed help...no one called us. No one really cares at church."
It's not cool your daughter had to learn a lesson like this. But it can be a blessing that her eyes are opened to the futility of religion this early in her life.

I pray in Jesus name that the frustration turns to passion for God and for those whom the church has failed. Not just for the Johndrows but for all those who have been neglected and rejected by religion.

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