How many community service hours does my child need to make the National Merit cut?
My kid wants to go to Princeton; how many years of debate does she need?
What SAT score do we need to get into Harvard?
Underneath the questions, I can hear the silent plea, “Isn’t there a formula for this?” “Can you just make this easy?”
I’m a mom so I totally understand. In fact, I can remember wishing for a formula myself – a tried and true, no fail recipe for success. Unfortunately it doesn’t exist.
As created beings, each of us is spectacularly unique with our own set of gifts and our own set of shortcomings. There is incredible potential for every life. But only loving wisdom can call that out.
It would be nice to follow a set of rules as I pursue my Christian faith, but that misses the point that it is all about relationship.
As a parent, it would be lovely to have a checklist, but that misses the point that we have to look into the heart of each of our children and join God in what he is doing in their individual lives.
As a family seeking college guidance, it would be so helpful to have a checklist of activities and numbers, but that misses the point that it is all about growth toward a unique potential.
There are no checklists, no shortcuts. There is not a simple route. In fact, it is just downright difficult some days and the future is often foggy. The only answer to it all is to keep growing ourselves and help our children grow as well. We need to lead interesting lives and help our children find interesting things to pursue. We need to use our time wisely and help our children be wise in how they spend their days.
Life should not be a relentless pursuit of a goal, but a joyful unfolding of who we are.