Life: Longing for the Way it is Meant to Be

5 04 2016

Life is a wonderful gift. From birth to death, every unique individual is on a journey of discovery and a search for meaning and significance. Yet death is a stark reminder that life is all too short…unless…there is an alternate ending. This is the Gospel: Christ came to bring us life. Real life. Forever life. There is no need to shy away from the topic of death with children. They may not have firsthand knowledge of it, but they can grasp eternity better than you might think. Celebrate life with kids this week as they, and you, develop into all that God has planned for you.

magnifiedsmile.gratisography

Eternal life is…quality of life, life to the limit.

-John Eldredge

I have come so they may have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.

-Jesus (John 10:10)

Over the past few months, I have written about lifespan development. My starting point for writing about development largely came from the book Development Through the Lifespan, by Laura E. Berk as well as the work of Erik Erikson and his observations on life stages.

From birth to death, individuals are changing and shifting from season to season, milestone to milestone and phase to phase. There are key markers to each phase, which we will do well to understand and acknowledge. Development theory is still a theory and so the markers may not be empirical fact, but there are significant observations to be made. Summarizing each phase is a difficult task, but the benefits include ‘aha!’ moments, establishing goals, recognizing challenges, preparing for what’s to come, influencing the next generation well, etc.

For parents or children’s ministry volunteers, especially, being able to identify that the most important target for an infant is developing trust, we can pool our efforts into that one area more effectively. Or in your family, understanding and appreciating what your parents may be feeling or working through may increase your ability to strike up meaningful conversations.

Perhaps a child wasn’t from a home where skills could be learned without shaming or she never had a safe place to struggle with her identity. Knowing this can increase your empathy, the ability to understand or share the feelings of another. Recognizing this in yourself can be a humbling first step to receiving the help you need and making the next appropriate step in your personal growth.

The bottom line is this: God values every life greatly. He created real life and has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are all changing, shifting, developing. Yet, to know God’s design for life we must wait, for our best life is yet to come. Let us live and develop and mature as God meant us to and as much as we are able. Let us wait and long for the full realization of what God has planned.

Here are the links to all of my posts on development:

Lord, help me celebrate your gift of life today.

Advertisements




Ripple-Effect Decisions

4 06 2010

I had a flashing opportune moment this week. These types of moments come up every now and then. You know, those moments that if you don’t take advantage of quickly you might just lose altogether. I suppose they happen more often then we think or notice. But this one was quite clear to me.

I was just sitting down to lunch at our pastors conference this week. A couple guys I know, but who wouldn’t have a clue who I was, sat down too. Scott Forbes was one of them. In the past he has served with Kids Alive. I couldn’t quite remember where life had taken him recently so I asked. He told those of us at the table that he had joined IJM or International Justice Mission.

Photo from IJM

He went on to tell a few gripping stories about their work of investigating and working with authorities to rid the world of sex trafficking and other forms of abusive slavery. He also told of his daughter who works with their organization in India. As he talked about her, it became clear to me that she has some guts, some passion, some resolve and determination. She pursued course work that led her on this path of seeking social and criminal justice.

This is where the moment came. Read the rest of this entry »








%d bloggers like this: