e all watched with foreboding sorrow as Usain Bolt pulled up in one of his last races on the track. The legend of short distance running was bowing down, bringing a close to his stellar career. Aptly named, Bolt broke records in short distance races that had been set for years…and yet we still hear people saying that it would be impossible to break those records. Let me not digress.
Take a look at how you were raised up. Take a look at who raised you up. What kind of race do you think they ran? One of the biggest thought leaders on Spirituality, Apostle Paul said the following mighty statement in direct application to his own life:
“Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.
Now, before you log off thinking that this post is a spiritual admonition for Christians, may I remind you that the word Sin is Anglo Saxon that simply means “To miss the Mark”. It was derived from the game or archery in that when an archer shot a miss, the “referee” would shout, “Sin!”. Take a look at your life once again, take a look at the life of your parents and how they raised you up. Is there “sin” in it? Is it a life on purpose? It is interesting that Paul would use the analogy of racing and running not just once, but several times. Take a look at this:
“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.
All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.
I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me!
I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself”.
This stellar visionary personalizes his message and preaches to himself! What a man! But let’s get back to our question: What race do you think your parents or guardians ran? Let me make the question even more interesting. Between a marathon-type race and a relay-type race, what kind of race do you think your folks ran successfully?
A marathon, though ran in teams is won by individuals. A relay race on the other hand is run in teams and it is teams that are feted. So, did your dad pass you the baton of life or did he just run his own marathon? I think this is the sorriest thing that has been seen from one generation to another that adults having seen what life is not taking time to “disciple” their children. We have been taught that if we do some things in some way, we would be successful. We have gone out in life and we have found out what works and what doesn’t, but we never take time to tell our children these things.
You and I now know that “Study hard and get good grades in order to get a good job so that it will be will with you” does not work. It is not God’s principle way of operation. Purpose is. And yet we are still overlooking this great subject in the annals of history, we are giving it a pass in our education systems, we are neglecting the conversation in our dinner tables and home life in general!
This must stop with you and I. You and I are the next fathers and mothers of the greatest generation that is coming over sooner than you think. Let me ask you a sobering question: What do you think will characterize the next generation, seeing that we are exposed to all manner of information that lacks value at the click of a mouse? Where do you think your children will get the much valuable information about success, wellness, greatness, and purpose from? I think the best question to ask is this: Why in the world would my 10 year old child not get information about life purpose from me?
In the end, I end up being a marathon runner and not a relay runner. IN the meantime, my kids are silently craving for someone to hold their hands as they transition in life each year. They go through life like a blind praying mantis trying to figure out the meaning of it all. And yet at all this time that they are suffering, I am silent, probably personally disillusioned by life itself!
How can we change this? I am sure there could be several ways that this can be done, but I have come up with just a few kick starter methods that we could use, seeing I am a parent myself.
My Son Ethan was not arbitrarily named. We did not go around looking for fancy names in a names dictionary. The idea of purpose was so inherent in naming him. Ethan is a Biblical name of a very wise guy (seeing we did not want to name him Solomon for obvious reasons). Ethan was so wise that in speaking of Solomon’s wisdom, they said that “Solomon was even wiser than Ethan”. So the way we name our children must be informed, intentional and not arbitrary.
Serah our daughter had the same process too. Her name means boundless abundance. This might sound woowoo but it is Divine how Serah was named. I downloaded that name in the spirit when my wife was pregnant, and I had not even known that she was carrying a baby girl. Later on, my wife came and told me that she has decided to call the girl Serah. Done! Instantly. Forget about the woowoo part anyway but focus on the meaning.
Isn’t it interesting that Usain Bolt was named “Bolt?” Parents, whether you believe in the prophetic or not, it goes without saying that whatever character is behind the name you give to your child, that character will become his destiny. Be very careful. There comes a time where the “average Joe” goes through tough situations in life that they start questioning the meaning of their names…they start asking issues related to where they came from.
As the children are growing up, it is imperative that they observe our passion and pursuit of purpose daily. The reason why people do not tell their children about their daily work is because they are not living their purpose. Work is a place they go to where they get things done and tasks accomplished. Purpose though is life. We live it. People see it in us even in the streets. It permeates our conversations, is seen in our passion and is evidenced in our pursuits. We talk about it with and to the people that are closest in our lives. So if you want to teach your children about purpose, you had better start living it yourself. Children cannot be taught purpose per se, but they catch the vision as they see it lived out loud.[ictt-tweet-inline]
We cannot continue telling our kids that they must be great when we are mediocre ourselves!
[/ictt-tweet-inline] We are the ones on who the spotlight is!
Parents must be keen observers of the character, dispositions, angling, gifts and talents of their children. My son Ethan for example loves to play drums. Why in the world? I have no idea. What is my work here? It is to find out how gifted he is. Interests and natural gifts are two different things. He might be in love with beating drums but the gift is not there. It is up to me to excavate.
Once we have snippets of what our kids are gifted or passionate about, then this is where we need to spend to dollar! Growing up, my pastor’s daughter changed her courses several times until she ended up becoming a nurse. It was a process. This is one of the most painful phases of life. At times we are so limited financially that we do not what to go through this phase of discovery together with our children…but this is one of the most necessary seasons in parenting. It is expensive, but with good guidance, we can achieve quite a bit.
There is a book out there on this topic that I keep saying I must publish and indeed I will. To bless is simply to proclaim words, forth telling the good over a person. Now listen to this: There is no one with express authority to “Bless” a child other than the “parent”. Parent here does not mean biological father or mother. Words are so very powerful, and you can actually speak either perdition or purpose into a child.
Everything you do must have an overall good for “others” in it. That is the best way anybody can teach purpose, because inherently, purpose oscillates around making the world of others a better place. So if Ethan is a drummer…towards what end is he pursuing that craft for example? Regardless of what weird or un-conventional a child’s gift is, it is my duty to cultivate it towards purpose. What if his drumming is linked to something greater in life than just drumming? In my teaching, I need to focus on two things:
If these two things are taught to the child at an early age, suddenly life comes into stark perspective. Myles Munroe says that he knew his vision in life as a teenager. That vision kept him from smocking, fornication, drinking and carousing. He was compelled by it even though there were multiple opportunities to sleep around, smoke and club.
Parents, it is our responsibilities.