Right on Target!

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old they he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV

The old dead elm tree crashed to the ground, right on target, and I shouted, “Praise the Lord!”

The customer, who had been watching us, shouted back, “What do you mean ‘Praise the Lord?’ Didn’t you know where the tree was going to fall?”

“Oh, we did everything to make sure it would fall that way.” I said with a chuckle, “But it sure felt good to see it happen!”

In some ways, raising children is like felling trees. Before we cut a tree, we put a rope in the top to give us the leverage to pull it the right way. To have leverage in our children’s lives we must take advantage of all the ordinary moments to show them, God’s love and what it means to follow the Bible. Now, those moments don’t look very special to us at the time, but one day they will help our kids when they are in danger of falling the wrong way.

Photo by Helena

Secondly, before cutting a tree, we make a pie-shaped directional cut that aims it where we choose. In life, that directional cut is determined by decisions that we make. If we skip church to go to the beach or run up large credit card debts with frivolous spending, we are making a directional cut that, no rope pulling can undo later in life. But if our children see us apologize when we are wrong, help a friend when it really costs us something and forgive people who have hurt us, they learn more about being a Christian than anything they will hear in church.

Last of all, we make a back cut that slices away the wood until the tree begins to fall. This is the scariest part, both with children and trees. That is when we lose control, and change, for better or worse is upon us. That is when our children make adult decisions that will change their lives forever. We have given them God’s guidelines, loved them through the ups and downs of life, but as we cut them loose, we close our eyes and pray urgently! For one terrifying instant, they hang between heaven and earth, and we know that even if we could have done everything right, there are no guarantees. Remember that God did everything perfectly in Eden and His children still went the wrong way. But, oh there is rejoicing in those wonderful moments when open our eyes and see our kids land right on target and then we shout with joy, “Praise the Lord!”

8 thoughts on “Right on Target!

  1. Amen, Pete. This is a great word picture, brother. My adult children are at the point where they could go either way. I pray daily that they will make the right choices-the God honoring choices their step-mother and I tried to teach them.

    As to your writing, you make it look easy. God Bless!

    • Yes we are with you in that. They are in their 40’s and still on track though with our oldest we wish that track was closer to Christ. Now it’s grandchildren that keep us on our knees. Thanks for joining the conversation!

      • Our first and only grandchild (so far) is only six months old, but yes …our role as a praying parent simply keeps expanding! I’m a new follower, but enjoying your posts Pastor Pete, and thankyou for following my little blog! Blessings from here down-under!

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