Tuesday, November 15, 2005

God, Are You there?

My troubled relationship with my oldest son and my daughter is no secret to those who know me. Over the years I've questioned every decision I ever made in regards to how I raised [all] my children. Should I have been stricter? Was I too strict? Did I try too hard to protect them or not hard enough? Most puzzling of all was the question that I have never found an answer for. How can children raised by the same parents turn out so differently?
Then I discovered blogging. Through blogging I have come to realize there are many parents just like me out there. I've discovered sons and daughters raised by some of the most decent, salt of the earth people, have brought heartache, disappointment and sadness to their parents. The children of ministers, teachers, doctors, farmers, and plain ole ordinary Joes * Jane's, have taken the road less traveled and made mistakes that have broken our hearts.
I remember when Columbine happened, I like many others felt that in some way those boys parents were partially responsible. Had they paid more attention to what was going on in the lives of their sons, maybe so much tragedy could have been avoided. But then I read things like this [ No Easy Answers in PA. Case]. These two young people had it all. Their parents provided them with all their basic needs,both physical and spiritual. Even luxuries that many other children never have. If ever there were ideal parents it was Michael and Cathryn Lee. Five children, all home schooled, all raised in a deeply religious home. The very epitome of the all American [Christian] family. A family now torn asunder by a young man they allowed into their young daughter's life. A young man who himself came from a good Christian home and who was also home schooled.
So, the eternal question rears it's ugly head. How is it that children raised in the same home, with the same values, same atmosphere, can take such different paths in their lives?
Maybe it's not within our power to control the fate of our children. Maybe their destinies are set long before we are entrusted with their lives. Maybe despite all we do, good or bad, they will ultimately make their own choices, and live their own lives. Based not solely on what we taught them but a sum total of all that surrounds them. For whatever reason, some will choose to follow the well chosen path. The path that leads to maturity, to growth, to a deep sense of what is right and what is wrong, and to choosing the former. Others will choose the path less taken. The path littered with heartache, broken dreams, and shattered lives.
I suppose there should be some comfort in that knowledge. I find little. If we as parents can't be the strongest influence in the lives of our children, if we truly have very little control over their future where does the future of mankind stand?
Maybe in the end it really is the battle between good and evil. And all we can do is do what we can and leave the rest up to God.

Hello? God, we need help down here. God? Are you there?


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