“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Mother Teresa
Like so many of you, my week has been filled with somber moments, times of tears, thoughts of strangers that suddenly feel like loved ones, and the many questions that arise during a tragedy like Sandy Hook Elementary School. I picked up our children earlier from school that day, hugged them all a bit tighter, and reminded them all how deeply they are loved. We prayed for the families and community effected by the tragedy. I listen to them more. I make sure I look into their eyes when we say, “I love you.” I never leave school without giving them just one more hug or kiss. I am thankful to see them when it is time to come home. I struggle knowing 20 families will never be the same or have that opportunity again.
I don’t have the answers to the questions being asked. Nor do I think any of us can really begin to understand the enormity of what is truly happening in the world around us. Yet, that shouldn’t stop us from becoming the change this world so desperately needs.
You have all heard the saying, “You must stand for something, or you will fall for anything.”
Well, now is the time to stand up for what you believe in. Take time to figure out what really matters most to you and then find ways in the coming year to be a part of the solution.
I don’t believe angry words and hate will ever solve the problems we face in the world today. Nor do I believe that we can all demand someone else to make the changes we so desperately need. I believe we are all responsible. Every single one of us who is of voting age must take responsibility for our actions and the choices we make. Every single one of us must find ways to leave this earth a better place than how we found it. Every single one of us must be a voice for the voiceless. Every single one of us must find ways to reach out to the lost and hurting. Every single one of us must stop acting like the world owes us something.
It is not up to a school to teach our children to be people of integrity and respect. That begins with us the parents at home. It begins with the choices we make and the lessons learned by our children watching us make them. It begins to how we react to life challenges and the hardships we must all face. It begins with how well we love each other and the level of respect we pay toward each other in front of our children.
It is not up to the church to teach our children to have high moral standards. That begins with us their parents. Do we live as we preach? Do we curse the very God in whom we claim to trust when hard times come? Do we blame God for the trials we face? Do we draw near to God and pray? What are our children learning from us by how we live and the faith we teach them to grow up to follow?
Nor is it the churches responsibility to teach us or our children to value life. As humans, we should all value the preciousness of life. But because we don’t as a society, things unspeakable continue to happen week after week around the country. We have put greater value on people and things that have zero return on our own good. We have placed our hope, beliefs, and trust in social media.
It is not up to the state to provide meals for our children. That begins with us as their parents humbling ourselves and working any job we can to provide for their most basic needs. And to show them that hard work pays off. We need to teach them that waiting for hand outs is the easy way and will never teach them the value of having something of great worth.
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. "Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” Mother Teresa
I believe that until we all take responsibility for what is happening in this country the children who are growing up today will be left to suffer from our mistakes for generations. This problem didn’t happen over night. It happened when our society gave up and shoved all moral standards out of every school and work place, and threw away anything of great worth.
I listened to this video clip earlier in the week and it answers many of the questions being brought up about God…take the three minutes and listen.
I believe that until we as a nation humble ourselves and realize that the change voted for is NEVER going to happen until we each do our part. It demands pulling up our sleeves and getting messy. It will take time. Time we don’t have to waste if we truly want a better place for our children and their children yet to come. Time we must not take for granted another day. Time that doesn’t stand still as we hope someone else will take care of everything. It will take determination on our parts to not give up when the going gets tough. It means that we must do everything in our power to stay the course and fight for our children to grow up in a world that is not hopeless, but filled with great expectations! To get there we must take a step backwards in time and see where we went wrong, and be willing to admit our mistakes. Learn from them and do better. PERIOD!
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” Mother Teresa
I’m ready to fight this battle head on right here in our home and to take the victory with us to the world!
I pray that those who have sat on the sidelines unsure of what to do will see that all it takes is a willingness to do what is necessary right inside your own home. The rest will follow suit as we build up the foundation in our children’s hearts!