Where will you be this time next year?
Imagine if you could fast forward through life and just get to the good bits?
-want a baby…. pow! Here it is
-need a new career of your dreams…bling! You’ve got it
-lose 50 kg…. zap! Baby you did it!
Fast forwarding the boring bits
Adam Sandler’s movie, ‘Click’ did just that putting the star’s life on a remote so he could skip the boring, uneventful and hard bits of life.
Recently though, my kids were captivated by the advertising of a new TV show promising true stories of dramatic life achievements over a 12-month period. It’s called, ‘This Time Next Year”. The killer grab was ‘watch lives transform in the blink of an eye as we reveal the transformation from beginning to end”. So, what happens is they film the person’s quest and their result 12 months later, but we don’t have to wait or wade through the boring journey. Instead it all happens in a flash as the host walks from one side of the tv set to another; waving them goodbye and then welcoming them back through a 2nd door without it feeling like any time has passed at all.
It’s the world we live in. No wait. No journey for the viewer, just wham bam thankyou mam.
Could life be better?
Skip the boring bits and just eat the chocolate chips.
Life isn’t like this of course. Progress, achievements don’t just happen in a flash. It’s a deception to just see the big result, but none of the sweat.
I like the show but I really wish we saw more of the journey…that’s where the real story is…where the real lessons are. You don’t learn or grow in an instant, it takes the long view and the daily steps or application to reach your goal.
What are your goals for your kids?
Would it be fair to say that our biggest concerns are with their success in school, getting a good career, a family, a home, a secure life?
More importantly, we need to be asking the right questions, like, what is God’s goal for our kids?
It’s not to say material things aren’t important, nor the ability to be independent and responsible. But we need God’s perspective to put true value on things so that our parenting energies are correctly focused on what really matters.
Once we have this perspective we can properly ask…
Where will our kids be in a year?
We all want a good life for our kids, right?
But, what is a good life? How do we even know what ‘good’ is?
Psalm 119 shows us it’s the one that values God’s word his rules, as eternal and lifesaving.
The psalmist spends the entire Hebrew alphabet, reflecting, churning, sweating over God’s pattern, his eternal, righteous ‘statutes’ and how they are ‘life’ giving for him.
What Adam Sandler’s character discovered in ‘Click’ was that he didn’t want the remote. He didn’t want to skip the boring bits or the long journey of sweat to success. In fact, these were the bits he began to value most. Life didn’t make sense nor was satisfying by flying through the less exciting parts.
The thing about the guy in Psalm 119 is that life for him is far from obstacle free. Like our contestants, in ‘This Time Next Year’, there is a problem he needs to solve, a journey God is taking him on whereby the good life comes through trusting God at his word through hard times. Sometimes the hardship is brought upon by his own foolishness, often it comes from those outside who have no regard for God’s law.
Will he be in the clear a year from now…we don’t know. But what the scriptures value is the journey, not just the end result.
So how does he take this journey? The answer is a constant meditation on the perfection of God and his word for life. That’s the beauty of Psalm 119, one sensational tour of the value of God’s word for life through each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the A-Z to the good life.
What we see in Psalm 119 is the manner, the method the mindset of the heart that fears God and looks for how to live according to his pattern each day.
What do we want for our kids?
This time next year we want our kids to be valuing God and his word more than before.
We want them to practice the Spirit’s qualities off patience, discipline, self-control and perseverance more than they did 12 months ago. We need to be praying this for them.
We don’t want them to seeking fast, easy solutions. Results without the effort. This applies to their schoolwork. That’s right, godliness in their schoolwork. Godliness in their attitudes to home and responsibilities to the family. Godliness toward their friends and enemies.
We make our kids learn musical instruments and its always been a bit of a battle to get them to practice. I wish it was easy and a joy. Why do we keep going? We keep at them because we want them to at least learn the patient, endurance and value of perseverance. Good things, don't come overnight. There is no such thing as instant success. If they want something, they'll need to work at it. The Scriptures, like Proverbs show the value and need for faithfulness to get results.
Godliness has value now and in the future. The Scriptures also say that it is this godliness that continues to pay dividends in the life to come. There's not much you can take with you, but godliness, love, faithfulness, patience, humility...you can. Isn't that worth investing with our kids, now?
Godliness doesn’t come over night, it’s not an overnight success
We need to teach them the journey of patience, discipline, self-control, focus, perseverance.
I’d like to help you train your kids in godliness.
Over the past few months Anton and I have been making some short videos using an iPad to work through each letter of the Hebrew alphabet in Psalm 119.
By getting your kids into this series of sketch videos, you’ll be impressing upon them the enormous value of God’s word and how our attitude to them will shape our lives for good.
Watch the free video from Anton's A-Z to the Good Life with your kids today. You'll be amazed at how this engages the whole family and impresses young minds with the beauty and value of God's word.
Just click here to watch Anton's video based on the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet from Psalm 119 verse 11 Bet
At the end of the video there's a link to the full course page, Enjoy!