Last week, I mentioned to someone that my youngest daughter, Laurel and her husband, Luke, were headed to Costa Rica. That person’s reply was, “Wait a minute. Don’t you have a child in Alaska? And one in Boston?” Yes, that’s true. “What did you do?”
Upon reflection, that seems like a reasonable (not offensive) question. It led me to think a bit about what “we did.” We read books about people who took on adventures – both fictional and non-fictional. We read fanciful fun books like the one by Dr. Seuss whose title I borrowed for this blog. We put maps of the United States and the world on our walls (and Michigan, of course). We went on vacations by car that took us from Michigan to Maine, California, Washington, Florida and places in between. Mostly, we prayed for and with our children that God would take them by the hand and lead them to places where they could serve well and live into God’s kingdom call.
So, when our children, Luke and Laurel, announced they were praying about leaving their business sector jobs in Grand Rapids to enter ministry in Latin America, my one thought was, “Well, here we go!” We’re grateful for Resonate Global – the CRCNA global mission venture – who had a place that fits them and their gifts for ministry. We’re thankful for God’s affirmation that helped them raise the funding needed for their first year in a little less than a month. We’re thankful for believers who have gone before them in mission and for people who will be with them in mission. We’re thankful that we serve a God who created us and knows who we are in our deepest places.
So, what did we do? I’m not really sure “we” did anything. Except this. We believed that the God who led you and me into life and ministry, would lead the next generation (including our children) into life and ministry as well.
That is probably our (the current generation of adults) biggest challenge. To put our own desire – to have our children around us – on the shelf in order to exercise faith that God will lead our children toward the places they’ll go. Sure, we’ll miss them. Sure, we’ll have concerns and pray for their safety. But, as believers, we aren’t we called to pray and live in a way that encourages a vision for God’s kingdom in the next generation? Isn’t that what we’re called to be? Vision setters for the kingdom call in the lives of all our covenant children? Isn’t that what our congregations are called to be? A home (a safe place) that encourages our children – all our covenant children – to choose to respond to their baptism in Christ and pursue their place in the kingdom of God?
So, thanks for praying with us for Luke and Laurel as they embark on this adventure with God on November 21. More importantly, thanks for praying for all of your covenant children and the adventure God has in store for them. As we live into this week that remembers the sacrifice and courage of the Reformers…let’s pray for future reformers and all the places they’ll go!