I read a post on Facebook today written by a very smart young man of my acquaintance. Among the many things he said, he said that America had turned into a nation of whiners. There was heated discussion, and at last count, there were 25 comments to his post. He writes often, and I am regularly driven inward to see if I agree with what he is saying.
So this morning, I had to think about our nation and ask if we really are turning into a nation of whiners. I thought about the Occupy movement, and from what I have read, these people are whining about their lot (or their perceived lot) in life. I have lived abroad, and know that some of what Mike said regarding the hardships of survival in other lands is quite true.
My thoughts then rested on my own children, who are Mike’s contemporaries. I think about their lives, and the struggles life has handed them. For those of you who do not know me personally, I have two beautiful children. I married a widower in 1980, and was a widow myself in 1999. I have watched these two children deal with the horrific grief of losing a parent for the past thirteen years. I thought about Mike’s words and played the mental video of memories concerning my children. Are they part of the whiners Mike was talking about?
Both of my children have faced challenges. I have been amazed more than once at the sheer determination that I have seen them muster in the face of almost overwhelming obstacles. My children are in their late twenties now, and they are making their way. Remembering that when people help the butterfly out of his cocoon, the butterfly dies for lack of struggle, I try very hard to adopt a hands-off approach when my children face difficulties. I know that these difficulties forge in them the character to be the kind of people that America is famous for. Romans 5:1-5 tells us: ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ The Message versions gives the kernel of truth in these words: ‘We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!’
As I was reminiscing about my life as a young mom, I remembered when times were hard. I remember not having money for groceries. I remember having a spouse who could not find employment. I remember praying and believing that God would supply every need. While I was considering these things, I heard a whisper…. The whisper reminded me that I was reaping in my children what I had sown. As parents we had sown virtue, we had sown diligence, we had sown faithfulness. My children learned this from their parents, and today, they are strong, able to face life’s difficulties, and not be part of the whiner group that Mike was castigating.
As a Mom, I am so blessed and proud of my children. They face far more difficult situations than I did at their age, but they are determined to win. They show me every day what fighting injustice is all about. Proverbs 13:22 states ‘A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.’ Today, the legacy of their father is represented in our children’s ability to fight the good fight. It would have been so easy for them to have given up, to have complained about their fatherless condition, to make that an excuse for failure.
They are my heroes!
Until next time,