The early teen years for my kids were a true learning experience for me. They wanted to be older than they were and yet they secretly still enjoyed the kid stuff. If no one was looking they were having fun with Mom and Dad, but the minute one of their friends came into the picture they wanted to distance themselves completely. As complicated as it is for a parent, I can only imagine what it must have been like inside their heads.
The fun part was planning trips. They would beg not to go on a family vacation because it was not going to be cool and they just wanted to stay home and hang with friends. Of course, being the awful parents we were, we made them go. You will never believe what happened every time! Not only did they have fun but they always talked about it being the best trip yet. It is nice being a parent and knowing what your kids will like even if they don’t.
As we enter this Lenten season, many of us have given something up in order to draw closer to God. At this point you are in the first week and probably wondering why you made this choice. It is very difficult the first several days because you are suffering to a point and haven’t yet realized what God has in store for you. He always comes through, and yet we doubt and would rather just give up and hang with what we know.
We are very much like those young teens. God has promised us an amazing journey if we will simply come along, but all we can do is focus on what we are giving up. I would encourage each of us to remember the lessons of our early years as well as being reminded that God is a very good Father. He wants to share so much with us, but we must to go along on the trip to experience all that He has.
I invite you to not get caught up wanting to hang out with the familiar things of life during this season. Let go and let God share with you the wonders of His presence and glory. If we can do this, I am sure at Easter we will be saying something along the lines of “best season ever”!