I’m pleased to welcome my friend, Marci Seither, author of Empty Nest: Strategies to Help Your Kids Take Flight.
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
My daughter, Amy, and I spent a Saturday helping my mom serve lunch at a gathering of women I had never met. There was a baker’s dozen who flew in from different states or drove to my parent’s home. Some had kept in touch since they graduated 50 years earlier, some hadn’t seen each other for decades.
The women hugged and greeted each other with laughter, often shaking their heads as if to wonder how time had slipped away, like sand through their fingers. In those moments of familiarity, glimpses of adolescent girls giggling over playground crushes, high school prom dresses and bad hairdos rose to the surface. They referred back to a time when their life was simple, and youthful ambition untarnished by life’s detours.
At lunch, they all sat down and pulled thin strips of paper from a basket. Each paper held a one-sentence story they had written for others to guess the source. The stories were as unique as the women sharing them. Elephant rides in India, a chance meeting with famous people, sailing the Sea of Cortez and being stuck in a sand dune were some of the tales shared. The women were smart, funny, and articulate, and but the one word that I came away with was adventurous.
They knew full well what it was to be “Strong and Courageous.” I looked at Amy, who sat mesmerized, and wondered if the word “Adventure” would hold the same meaning for her generation.
“Live life to the fullest!” is something that we often tell our kids. We set them on training wheel equipped bikes after making sure their helmets, mouth guards, knee pads and wrist braces are properly fastened. Okay, maybe the mouth guard is a bit extreme. But, gone are the days of seeing the countryside from the back of a pick-up truck, playing outside until the streetlights turn on and enjoying games that don’t require batteries or internet access.
Don’t get me wrong. I think safety equipment is great and being cautious is important but sometimes I think we are teaching the next generation to take all the risk out of living. How can we expect our kids and grandkids to be bold for Christ when want them to stay tethered to what we think is safe and controlled. It concerns me that the younger generations zest for life is quickly being replaced by immediate gratification of entertainment that can be experienced from the comfort of our Lazy Boy recliners.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Corinthians 16:13
The Bible is full of great stories about risk taking people, like Caleb, Ruth, and Esther. We need to share those stories along with a few of our own so the younger generation will have positive role models to look up to when they get ready to stand on their own.
What adventures have you lived lately? What stories have you shared with the next generation?