We hated to do it, but the time had come. Our last two remaining pine trees had, or were, succumbing to Pine Wilt disease.
The destructive nematode had done its dirty job and now it was time for the tree service to come in and do theirs. It’s always sad to see once beautiful trees that have stood for years come crashing down in a matter of minutes, then chopped up and hauled away like so much trash.
In our front yard lay the biggest heartbreak, though. Our one remaining evergreen…we called it our Gumdrop Tree…that we had decorated every Christmas for many years was dying as well, so down it came and off it went.
Just like that.
No evidence remains of our once gorgeous trees. Every piece was cut down, cut up, and driven away in huge trucks.
Even the stumps were ground down. Gary finished the clean-up in the following days, planted grass, and that was the end.
I thought of these scenes the following week when I was reading in my One Year Bible. This phrase jumped out at me in Jeremiah 16:19: “…our ancestors left us a foolish heritage, for they worshiped worthless idols.” (NLT)
I instantly thought of my role as a parent, and have pondered since then the sad prospect of a foolish heritage. My role as mom and Gary’s role as dad has drastically changed over the years.
We have gone from this:
And it all seems to have happened so very quickly!
Plus…we are planning a wedding this year!! Yes, Andrea and Kyle are to marry in October!!
So I see with my own eyes the passage of time…how true is the scripture that says all flesh is grass that withers away. Like a flower that fades, God tells us.
That’s quite a reminder that life passes quickly. The picture of our fallen trees was a stark example to me of that truth. Once stately and strong, they are now gone.
But I am not that tree. Though my life may fly by quickly, I have the opportunity to leave a heritage behind, especially to my children.
To young moms and dads beginning on this journey of parenting, I would encourage you to be intentional as you set out to raise your children. Live with the end result always in mind, as my friend Jill loves to remind young mommas.
What will matter most when your children say that dreadful goodbye and leave your nest? I can tell you that it isn’t whether they have mastered a sport or a musical instrument. It isn’t whether they have excelled at school and have college scholarships awaiting. It isn’t that they have tons of friends and a super active social life.
What matters most is their personal relationship to Jesus Christ. What matters most is their mastery of God’s Word. What matters most is that they have owned their faith.
We leave our children a worthless heritage when we focus our time…our energy…our money…our every effort…on things that will not matter one whit to their eternal souls. Sports, music, grades, friends, a social life…these have their place, but they are not to take THE first place in our child’s life. And it’s up to us as parents to guide their focus to what holds true value in their lives, even when they don’t see it that way.
What useless idols do we worship as we raise our children?
Fame? Money? Popularity? Technology?
It’s so easy to get sucked into the mold of this world, thinking that these issues are all important while we ignore the eternal and the spiritual.
Foolish heritage. What a tragedy!
Don’t let that be said of you, dear young parents. Start now to look ahead to the end result…to think of where each activity and each focus of your child’s life will lead them.
Remember that God also said: “The grass withers, the flower fades, BUT the Word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Now that’s a heritage worth leaving!