Feet pounding on century-old hardwood floors make a distinct “thud, thud, thud”, just ask my father. Some childhood memories stick out and some just blend in. But the echo of his voice as I ran down the hall–“Macie, when you are old enough I’m gonna make you run track!”–will never blend in. As a young girl I was many things, but athletic was not one of them. For some time I had nightmares of myself donning a Lady Cobra track uniform, eternally running to an unseen finish line.
Even though he never made good on that half-hearted threat, Daddy gets the last laugh. The good Lord has a way of paying us back for sins against our elders, therefore He granted me the blessing of a runner. I’m convinced my oldest is genetically incapable of walking in the house. And as luck would further have it, we are now living on hardwood floors.
A few weeks ago, the kids’ memory verse for the week was Hebrews 12:1-2. It reads, “Let us throw off what hinders us and run with endurance the race that is before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, who will perfect our faith.” When my husband chose this verse I almost vetoed it being taught in my home. I mean, I think we have the running nonsense mastered.
As a parent, it’s a balancing act to guide and train young children without quenching their enthusiasm for life. Exactly how does one encourage passion while instilling self control? I’m doing the best I can to allow my children the freedom to explore life’s joys within appropriate boundaries. After all, they are created in the image of a passionate God who wants them to be fulfilled with pleasure as they serve Him.
On my own I’m at a loss, and I desperately need God to teach me how to maintain the balance. I believe what I can do as a parent is hem them in on every side with God’s truth, so that one day they’ll be wise enough to ask themselves, “Am I running just to run, or is this a race God’s given me that will lead to a perfected faith?”
Until that day, I’ll continue to pray and yell, “Bradley, when you are old enough, son, I’m going to make you run track.”