Coronavirus to the rescue

How do your kids spend their time? Mine are constantly online.

Even before the current online learning, they did their homework online. They connected with their friends online. They connected with their grandparents online. They connected with me online. Only the cats were interacted with exclusively in “person.” Wait, no, my kids would even show them videos and use instagram filters on them.

I just saw a headline that says, “Pastors worry most about reaching next generation in local churches, study shows.” This pandemic is forcing churches to learn how to use digital technology.

That’s how to reach the next generation, for any reason.

How old is too old?

A woman recently threw her 11-year-old autistic son off the balcony of their 4th floor apartment. He will most likely survive, but is undergoing a lot of surgeries and therapy.

She is now charged with attempted murder.

I agree with this charge. As you know, I have an autistic son, and life with him can be a challenge, but murder is never right.

Or isn’t it?

It is ok to kill, or allow to die, a newborn baby that is unwanted, according to laws in many states here in the US.

This 11-year-old isn’t much less dependant on his mother than that newborn.

Again, I ask, how old is too old?

Are you on a pilgrimage?

notre-dame-paris-france-615343.jpeg

7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” 9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty.

Genesis 47:7-9a

This got me to thinking, what is a pilgrimage like?

Pilgrims are on a journey to a very specific destination. They don’t let any sort of hardship get in their way. They keep plodding forward no matter the sacrifice. They don’t complain about injury or hunger or thirst. They realize that it is all just a part of the journey. Nothing stops their progress but death.

Sometimes they travel with their family and friends, but often they must leave behind all they know, both people and places. They miss their family, wishing that they could be with them, and hoping that one day, they too will reach the holy site. But the excitement of the journey far outweighs any loneliness.

I have never made a pilgrimage, but the little bit of traveling I have done gives me a small sense for some of the feelings a pilgrim might experience. For instance, my daughter and I went to Paris for a week last spring.

First we had to sacrifice a bit on our spending at home so that we could afford expensive plane tickets and lodging at a safe hotel. We spent months studying guide books and researching activities, laws, routes, hospital locations, etc. online. We were able to talk with some friends who had just been to Paris the spring before, and learned tips from other friends who had visited years ago.

We tried not to talk too much about our excitement with those who weren’t going or hadn’t been, as we didn’t want to incite jealousy. Some people didn’t even know we were going until after we got back – so maybe we kept it a little too low key sometimes!

The journey was long and left us feeling physically ill. Operating in a foreign language was tiring. I was always just a little bit on edge for our safety, as terrorist attacks have become somewhat common there, and we are just two small women. We missed family and friends a little. But the joy of being there and experiencing things we had never experienced before far outweighed any discomforts.

We would go back there in a heartbeat! We loved our “pilgrimage”.

May I be a pilgrim here in my everyday, too.

I’m so confused!

confusion

We have our public high school students read, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. Why? To help them see how horrible human nature can be? I find the book to be ridiculously violent, so I won’t allow my autistic son to read it, but I find the message, sadly, sound.

Fascinatingly enough, our public schools also tell our kids that they just need to look inside themselves to find all the strength and knowledge they need to make themselves and this world a better place. We teach them that, as a kindergartener, they know whether or not they are a boy or a girl, regardless of what their biology is saying. Ok, then why have them read, Lord of the Flies? Doesn’t that preach the exact opposite message? That kids don’t know the proper way to live?

On the one hand we say that research shows that children know who they are by age five. But on the other hand we say that no one should be considered responsible enough to make their own decisions about life until about 25, because the rational part of the brain isn’t fully formed until then (see University of Rochester Medical Center).

So which is it? Do you have everything inside of you or not? Do you need to be educated about how life works, or not?

I would propose that we don’t have everything inside of ourselves, unless we have God in us.

Mark 10:18b  No one is good except God alone.

And I would also propose that we need to be taught.

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

A First World Problem

Job 12:5 “Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.”

A convicting verse from my Bible Study this morning. Things that God spoke to me about it:

  • This is a bit of why He may allow suffering in life, even when it doesn’t seem deserved – He needs people to be in tune with those who need to hear of Him in their suffering.
  • I need to make time to be there for those who are suffering and slipping.

When I look back on life, I do find that some of my sweetest memories are when I was obedient and did those sort of things.

How about you?