This last giant is FUN and WONDERFUL!
It is the cruise director giant.
Its name alone denotes fun times ahead on this cruise of life. Beware! Here are some of its techniques:
- this giant can be birthed when you hear your child say, “I’m bored!” The next day you are armed with arts and crafts projects out the roof. Or, you sign your little one up for some type of activity.
- this giant has you running around like a chicken with your head cut off if you’re not careful. It’s very subtle and starts off slowly. First, one extra-curricular activity. Then, you add another to make a more well-rounded child, and so on.
- it hangs with other giants, like the giant of comparison. It loves for you to be in groups with other parents comparing, mentally, of course those activities in which all your children are participating. When you realize your child is not doing enough stuff, you sign them up for one more thing in an effort to not be the slacker parent.
- this one loves to spend your money on these activities.
- on the other hand, this one makes you feel unworthy as a parent if you can’t afford to let your child participate in activities that cost money you do not have.
- in other areas of your life, this giant may have you saying, “yes,” to every invitation to every church ministry, school committee, and civic organization. This giant loves to keep you busy with even good things. Are they God’s best things, though? Do you really have to do all these things? What is being sacrificed by your time commitments?
It’s one thing to discover and encourage your children’s bents. Yet, it’s another thing for teaching them that home is where it’s boring and fun can only happen when you are doing something or with others away from home.
If you have more than one child and try to do this for all of them all the time, you will be on the road non-stop, meals at the kitchen table may cease to exist, and you may find you and your spouse rarely have time alone for a legitimate date because you’re having to divide driving duties to keep the kids in all their activities away from home. That was a long sentence. Try reading it without taking a breath. That’s how you feel at the end of an afternoon of cruise directing, breathless (and irritable).
Sure, it may be legit to do all this for the children, but is it profitable in the long run? What are the ultimate lessons you’re teaching your child by being the cruise director of the home?
This one seems to last for a season and it seems to be while the children are in the lower grades. At some point, you or one of your peers, will say they’ve had it with this lifestyle of being on the road all the time and they are not going to take it anymore. If you’re nearby when this statement is made you feel some power emanating off the wake of these words! They resolve that today, some things are going to give and they will decide as a family what to keep on and what to toss from the calendar. When the giant hears this, it panics and forces someone to utter a comment that makes your doubt your decision. Stand firm! Be the mom or dad and take back your calendar from the clutches of the cruise director giant! Beat this giant over the head with your clipboard!
Ask God to show you (even on a schedule) what is working and what isn’t. Where are you sacrificing that He prefers you to not? For example, when was the last time you asked your child how to pray for him? Or, when did you last sit down to have them read a Bible verse or chapter to you and then pray afterward? Who at school could you be praying for that seems to be left out on the playground and how can your child show the love of Christ to them? Are you able to go to church on Sunday or youth Wednesday (or whenever youth meet at your church)? Some sports teams practice every evening and have Sunday games or competitions that take you away from corporate worship. Just some thoughts, no finger pointing.
Maybe it’s time for you to really examine how you are spending your time and your child’s time. Maybe it’s time to make some changes.
James 4:13-17 says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”