Friday, August 06, 2010

Empty Nest

Our son came into the kitchen late the other night, musing about where he might get a job once he's settled at university. He also had purchased snow skis earlier that day so he can "ski every weekend possible." The job is only necessary to pay for the gas it will take him to get to the ski hill. I don't bother reminding him that university is for study and when would he be planning to do that if he's working and skiing? I don't remind him because I already have. Several times.

"Of course, school is my priority," he insists.

But a mother worries. I see the gaps where he doesn't know what he doesn't know. He's optimistic like I was about how much effort things take and how little time one needs to allow to get them done. I wish I had been a better example, but I did the best I could.

After he left the kitchen, I got a sense of how quiet and lonely the house would be without him. And now I know what empty nest syndrome could become. I need to prepare my heart and mind for what the new thing is that God will be doing in my life and with my time and talents. I will still be involved in as much of our son's life as he needs or wants but I remember what I was like at that age. I have my journals to remind me. I didn't spend a summer at home until my last year of college. I didn't miss it either. But I knew home was there if I needed.

It's part of that independent spirit. Growing up. Becoming who God calls us to be, "having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we...might be for the praise of his glory." Eph. 1:11-12

So often we ask "What is God's will?" about this or that. The apostle tells us in Ephesians 1:11 and Romans 8:28 that according to His plan, whatever we do works into a pattern for our good. He ensures that the ripples of our actions and choices and their impact confirm to this purpose: that we bring Him glory. Next time you want to know what the will of the Lord is, ask yourself this: "In this situation, what will bring God the most glory?" And you will know His will.

I know God has a purpose and a plan for our son, just as he does for me. God loves him more than I ever could. God is in charge, I can trust him. This is the essence of the gospel.

It's also the solution for Empty Nest Syndrome.

(photo courtesy Limelight Photography - posted with permission)

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