Monday, March 21, 2016
Continuing with the focus on the Finder, I think of my sons again. Today I think of Dylan. I can say that I have never lost him. I’ve never left him anywhere. He’s never wandered off. He is never truly too far away from me. Therefore, unless he is at school or something like that, Dylan is usually within my eye-sight. I do, however, worry about losing him in the future. I worry about the choices he’ll make and how those choices will take him to the wrong path. I think about the son in the parable, and I can see Dylan asking us to give him his inheritance so he can squander it … no problem.
As it happens, Dylan, not unlike me, has a hard time seeing the need to be judicious with money. He likes it, but not enough to get too attached to it. He’d rather have the stuff money can buy. So whatever money he gets, doesn’t stay long in his wallet. In other words, he’s always broke…not unlike His Mom. He is also too lazy to work for it…hence the fact he’d think it’s a good idea to just ask for his inheritance now, so he can chill. What he doesn’t know is that whatever inheritance he might get will be gone before he can put his feet up.
Anyway…I worry about Dylan’s future choices.
Take the other day, for example. He agreed to clean the floor for a few bucks. Some might call it bribery. I call it persuasion. After cleaning everything but the last room, he came looking for me to get his payment. I told him to go finish the last room (which I had neglected to tell him he needed to do too). He laid flat on the clean floor and said no. I said, “I know I forgot to tell you to clean that one too, but if you do it, you’ll feel great about a job well done!” His no was unwavering. I said: “well, you have two choices: either you take your money in shame without finishing the job or you go and finish it so you can be proud of your work.” Guess what he chose without hesitation:
“I’ll take my money in shame.”
A couple of days earlier, I was facilitating a class discussion about a book I had assigned my students. The book dealt with the disturbing issue of gangs. As it happens, some of the most violent gangs are Hispanics. Their members are mainly from Mexico and Central American countries like Salvador and Guatemala. Well, as I was showing my class some pictures of the heavily tattooed gang members and talking about how they bare the mark of death on their faces, it hit me. Behind each young face I saw Dylan’s. I had a hard time finishing the discussion because the reality is that if Dylan had stayed in Guatemala, at his age, he would have probably been already recruited by a gang.
I have to say that when Dylan pronounced that he’d rather take the money in shame, I burst out laughing. However, as I saw my son lying on the floor unashamed of his choice…the images of the gang members came to my mind and I shuddered. The pain of the possibility of having this precious child lost to a life of darkness and violence was too terrifying to entertain.
I’m not sure what my sons’ lives would be like when they grow up. But I know for sure that if they wander off the wrong path, I would be chasing them until I find them…even if I know that sometimes that search is futile. Only Our Heavenly Father can effectively bring them back.