“And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me”
– Excerpt from Cat’s in the Cradle Sandy Chapin, Harry F. Chapin
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
A fellow blogger posted about the importance of impressions in his post titled “Impress Them on Your Children”.
It’s funny, but earlier today I was reminded of his entry when sitting and listening to Ugly Joe’s rendition of a song originally pinned by Harry Chapin “Cat’s In The Cradle”. (You can find the song on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B32yjbCSVpU) The song provides a vivid image of how our seemingly meaningless day to day interactions with our children have a lasting, and sometimes irreversible impressions. Impressions that a lot of times cannot be felt until we ourselves are older and our days begin to slow. Not only can this be said for children but also for family and friends as well. Every choice, word and decision we make is observed and ingested into our children.
How often do we race through the day without taking pause to sit and reflect on our choices? How often do we take the time to place our agendas aside to think and be mindful of others around us? I for one will be the first to admit that I greatly find myself failing at times. I’ve gotten into a better habit of reflecting at the end of the day and praying for God’s continued grace and strength, through His Holy Spirit, to make better choices the next day. I do remember there being time, not that many years ago, when I would not have given reflecting on my day’s choices a second thought. The beauty is with our partnership with God, and the gifting of His spirit, He will call to our attention many things that through our natural flesh would never bother us. By our maturing we will become equipped to better identify and modify our behavior.
It’s not an overnight process! We need to keep in mind the habits that we picked up over the years will take time to replace. It has been said that if allowed the devil oodles of time to work on us we can at least give God the same, if not greater time, to renew our minds, body and souls.
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]”. – Romans 12:2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Our Enemy will quickly begin to whisper to us “You’re a hypocrite and your children, spouse, family and friends will all know it. There’s no way you could ever undo the choices you’ve made!”. This is a lie straight out of the mouth of the Father of lies. It is never too late and we are never hypocrites if we are truly committed to getting up and trying again. We are only hypocrites if teach our children or show others one thing knowing deep down we have absolutely NO INTENTIONS of doing any of it.
Take time to study by looking into the tiny faces of those that look to us for direction, love and approval. And even as they become older it is never to late to continue to understand and provide the love our children, family and friends deserve. We never know what that extra moment will impress upon others.
I pray for all of us to let God do a work in us that will no longer look upon our days with regrets of the past but instead reflect in His perfect will and set example of the bright future starting with today.
Be Forever Blessed,