On my walk yesterday, I was so enjoying the emerging greens of Spring. But there were other signs of Spring on this Carolina clay pathway. We’ve had lots of rain lately and the landscape is showing the signs of the downpours. The orange clay was loosening and roots were exposed all along the path that is usually covered with foliage, moss, or other forms of green. Sometimes too much of a good thing too fast isn’t so good. It sure wasn’t good for the root system of these trees. And sometimes it’s not so good for us.
Rain is a good thing. But not when it comes too fast for the root system to support the water. Freedom is a good thing as well. But not when the foundation of responsibility, morals, etc. isn’t strong. Then it’s damaging. I’ve seen 4, soon to be 5, of my children graduate high school. The years that are the most difficult regarding freedom? Oftentimes it’s when that driver’s license is in hand. Driving is one of those rites of passage that can give a sense of freedom that one’s not yet ready for. Kind of like a flood that overtakes, a landscape, if too much comes too fast, the teenager can find himself reeling with consequences that will take a lot of time, love, and tenacity to overcome.
I guess all of these thoughts are on my mind because my 6th child, my last, is due to drive in driver’s ed. this week. Yikes. I don’t want to hold back the inevitable. I mean, I knew this time was coming. I can’t stop time any more than I can stop a torrential downpour from becoming a flood. But can I prepare? Yes. Can I pray? Yes. Can I teach and practice, practice, practice driving with my son who I need to remind to not look at me when we’re driving in parking lots? Yes. Preparation and Prayer, practice and prayer, Prayer and prayer and more prayer…that’s what prepares (Pre-prayers!) us for what’s to come.
Well, I’ve survived teaching 5 drivers to drive. 5. This last one has broken the mold on lots of levels, so if you think of me, pray for us! But not just for the driving. For the freedoms that come with the driving. For the wisdom of this mom to guide and teach and not allow too much freedom too fast, no matter how hard the battle is to go against the grain of society that says, “it’s no big deal”, or “aw, he’ll be fine.” Preparing for storms? That’s important. And I’ve been through my share of the teenage joys as well as the storms. I’m just thankful for the analogy of how too much too fast is not a good thing. For trees, and for teenagers.
And….for moms. Healthy fear is one thing. It protects, prepares. But irrational fear can be like a flood that can just wash over us. We can preprare (Pre-prayer again!) with prayer…and fortify our minds, our hearts, our voices, with faith. Love that. We don’t need those floods of fear either.
“For God did not give us a Spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of self-control.”
2 Timothy 2:17