There is a big wall of windows in my bedroom that overlooks the backyard and into the woods. As many of you may know, I live in the Northeast, just outside of NYC…close enough to have “culture” but far away enough to have “country.”
It’s snowing now. Light little snowflakes just fluttering down from the sky.
It’s very pretty.
Of course, those pretty little snowflakes are supposed to be turning into Snowpacalypse in just a few hours, a potentially historic blizzard that will dump 2+ feet on our area.
I must confess that I like being snowed in and I LOVE when the Internet goes out. With a fire blazing in the fireplace and the children away from their electronics, we get to read books by little oil lamps (yes, Amish lamps) and talk.
In today’s world, there isn’t a lot of that among many families, especially in the area where I live. Children are rushed from school to event after event. Every parents seems to want their child to be “the best” at [fill in the blank] so they create merciless schedules and become what is known in the education field as a “helicopter parent”…a parent that hovers over the child and dictates all of their activities.
When I’m visiting my friends in Lancaster, there’s a different type of relationship between parent and child. Without doubt, there is respect from child to parent. Parents do not have to ask their children to help with chores; the children just do them. And they are happy doing them. There is a sense of peace and calmness on those Amish farms that I wish I could put into a bottle and send it to all of my readers. There is no competitiveness, no envy, no isolation, no boredom. Children do not tell parents what they want to do. If anything, parents have control of their children. If something happens, such as a horse kicks a car or damages a fence, the Amish accept responsibility and take care of the damage. There is no blame, no finger point, no accusations.
I don’t see a lot of that happening in my area. In fact, a lot of people seem to have a terrible habit of always finding a scapegoat, a person to blame for their own poor choices.
“My parents didn’t send me to college.”
“The coach benched my son.”
“The teacher gave my daughter bad grades.”
“My sibling ruined the holiday.”
“That kid got mine in trouble.”
We’ve all heard statements like this. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you, too, have been a scapegoat at one time or another.
There was someone else who was a scapegoat…someone who took all the “blame” for the entire world: Jesus. He was content and secure in this role, understanding what his Father desired of him; His discipline and determination in not baulking at his responsibilities nor questioning the need for his suffering. Not only was Jesus the perfect man…he was also the perfect Son. And, of course, Jesus had the perfect Father.
We cannot expect our children to be perfect. Nor can we, as parents, be perfect, either. But we can do our best to instill courage, industriousness, humility, and goodness in our children. My father and mother taught me the importance of a good work ethic and that, in order to get something worthwhile, I had to work for it. I’ve learned the hard way that people who work hard and succeed are often blamed by others for their own insecurities and failures.
But I have learned to continue down the path in the direction that I know God wants me to walk.
Which leads me back to the Snowpacalypse.
We are all like the little snowflakes that are falling outside of my window. Each one of us is unique and an individual. I can watch one snowflake as it falls but it becomes part of the white blanket that covers my roof, the ground, and the trees. In God’s eyes, each snowflake is special and contributes to the beauty of the scene unfolding outside. Is it any different than His love for mankind? Isn’t it time that we respect our Father by respecting each other?
Some snow for thought…