Lately, I have been haunted by a question. “Is it enough?” I’m watching loved ones fall away, people change, principles change, and positions change. I am grieved, and this question keeps popping up, “Is it enough?” Or sometimes, as I see someone walk away, a despairing, “It wasn’t enough” fills my mind.
When I was a young teenager, I remember going through everything my parents had taught me. I held each tenet and principle up and examined it. I went to public school where everyone was swimming an opposite direction than the way I had been carefully taught and nurtured in. It was all under attack. I remember pulling things out of my treasure chest and looking at each item. Some of it made perfect sense and held me. It was enough for my heart and my head.
But some of it did not make sense to a 13-15 year old. I might conform, but I did not embrace these principles in the same way. They are not what held me.
Today, as I see the great falling away, I wonder about the package that we of conservative evangelical holiness Christian values have handed our children. Is it enough to hold them? The testings and attacks that I faced have not diminished at all. The phrase “pushing and shoving and crowding my mind” has come to me repeatedly.
The weight of the enormity of my job is too great to throw stones at anyone else who is also trying to do their job. I also have been putting things in a treasure box that I have been handing my children. Sometimes I see some of the things that my children have pulled out of the box that I handed them, and I think, “What?! I didn’t mean to put THAT in the box! That wasn’t one of the ideas I was trying to get across! Please, adjust that one!”
One of the neighbor boys was explaining that sometimes he had girlfriends, and sometimes he had boyfriends. He had both. Repulsed by the idea that he was a bisexual, one of my children raged at the boy, reacting in anger, definitely not with concern and love. And I wondered? Was I the one who put anger in my child’s box? I didn’t think so. Since I have gone out of my way to be nice to the Walmart cross-dresser checkers, surely not. With my hair up and my long skirt, I stand out, so I have tried to show love. People know I have conservative values without me telling them.
Other times I have been humbled by what Jesus and God’s people have helped put in my children’s box. I’m sure it was much better than anything I could have slipped in!
Today, I am just trying to figure it out. Were there things put in the treasure box that my mom and dad gave me that I have left out? Or do I have the same package, but the day and age has traps that America didn’t have 80 years ago?
I am aware that we ARE the product of our age whether we want to admit it or not. There really is something to Generation X, Millenialists, and Baby Boomers. But something in my heart cries out, “Surely, the power of God should be enough no matter what the pitfalls of the age!” Wasn’t it God Who promised that His truth would endure to ALL generations? Wasn’t it the Lord Who said that He came to destroy the works of the devil? That greater was He that was in us than He that was in the world? That where sin abounded, grace did much more abound?
Samuel Logan Brengle said that there was an experience that would take care of your heart and your mind. When our loved ones have not had a rediscovery of the faith, an encounter with God, they will have a hard time having enough even if they have the logic. But, they need both.
What have I given my children? Is it enough?