Saturday, June 10, 2006
RACE CAR DRIVER?!?!?!?!!!!
Our son wants to be a NASCAR driver. This has not just been a passing phase and we're not sure how it all got started. But he's been saying this since he was two or three years old. We are not racing fans but he has gravitated to it on his own. Part of it stems from his love of racing- themed video games. If we let him, he would probably watch Speed Channel for hours on end.

A big part of me wants to say "No! Absolutely not!" and put this nonsense out of his head once and for all. I am not against racing. I respect the drivers. But, speaking as someone who simply is not the world's best driver (plus I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, which isn't good for long (or even short!) drives), racing just seems like a dangerous occupation. I suppose, though, that statistics would show me that it isn't.

Honestly, I don't know if we will still be facing this in 5, 10, or 15 years but he does seem determined. Actually, his career choice is odd for a kid who doesn't even want to ride his bike but it is also firmly entrenched.

At the root of all of this is something that all parents face though -- recognizing that God has a plan for each beautiful child He puts on this earth, and being willing to give up our plans for His. We've all seen it -- parents who try to re-live their "glory days" through their kids, and also parents who try to use their kids to live out their own unfulfilled dreams. Probably nothing leads to more messed up relationships and adults who feel like round pegs in square holes than those things.

Approaching parenthood, I always swore that I would let our child find his own path. Not that I wouldn't give some guidance or suggestions, with those things being based upon the gifts and talents that he is blessed with, but I wanted to let our child explore and discover what is right for him -- a life that will bring him joy.

It's not easy to do that in reality though. As a friend of ours recently told us, you just naturally have dreams for your kids and it is hard to give those up when you see that is not the way things are going to be.

My prayer is that, so long as he is authentic and genuine, so long as he acts with integrity, and so long as he makes an earnest attempt to know and go where God wants him to be, I will be okay with things. It won't be easy but it is what we are called to do as parents as we give our kids up to the One who loves them and has plans for them.

When I was in Israel, I bought a little wallhanging for Evan which has the words of Jeremiah 29:11 on it. It hangs in his room but I perhaps bought it more as a reminder for me than as a directive for him. Following is an excerpt of Jeremiah 29 from The Message:

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed."

My plans, my dreams, my hopes -- they can never even begin to compare to God's promise!

  posted at 8:08 AM  

At 1:33 AM, Blogger radar said...

Mmmm, yeah, I was concerned when my oldest son decided he was joining the US Army. Sure enough, he went overseas and was deployed in a combat zone for over a year. Praise God he made it back in one piece and is now finishing out his enlistment stateside!

I guess we just need to be glad when they know what they want to do rather than drift aimlessly...


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Todd M


An ordinary guy. A wife I love very much. A great son. Wonderful friends. A metal roofing business and a sales training business. A loving church family. A few trade associations. A Christian school. And a four-pound poodle. Just trying to follow God and see where He leads.

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