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Friday, September 06, 2013

'tTis the Season

Julia's common app is nearly done, and when she hits "send" it is as if her fate is being thrown out into cyberspace for the colleges to affirm or reject her.  Luke's med school application document (something with initials like AMCAS) is similarly hovering in digital limbo somewhere waiting for opinion.  Jack is trying out for soccer and ran the fastest mile of all the ?60 boys who are vying for about 30 spots on two teams, but injury or mistakes always lurk around the corner.  Julia made the tennis team for which we are extremely grateful as the sport enjoyed a surge in popularity this year so competition was stiffer.  And Acacia has hung in there for a week of girls' basketball, as cuts pare the pool slowly.  She was also fastest in suicide sprints yesterday, but the coaches' opinions are still unknown.  Caleb rejoiced in getting to solo (yes, truly fly alone) in his soaring class this week, something he was far from sure of achieving when he started a few weeks ago.  Most of his classes are going well, but one is particularly obscure and difficult.  He lives a life of constant evaluation and competition.

'Tis the season when my parental heart skips beats and holds breath, waiting to see what paths open for my kids.  

Which is why I keep going back to one of the passages that most convicts me in the Gospels. In Mathew 20:20-28, the mother of Zebedee's sons comes to Jesus to ask for her sons' honor and success. Jesus has one question for her:  are they ready to suffer?  To drink the bitter cup of death?  Because in God's Kingdom, to lead is to serve.  The place of honor is the place of laying down one's life.

So when I pray for my kids, I want to pray that they will make teams and be accepted to good schools, that they will be chosen for honor.  These are good gifts and I believe God has often given them to us.  But I hear a still small reminder, a voice saying, "Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"  Because Kingdom leading is about suffering.  For my kids, and for me as I watch them.  Redemption passes through pain.

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