Possibilities, Peace and Parenting

Posted: 14 April, 2017 in My thoughts, Parenting

Life changes tremendously in your twenties. It has done so for me, at any rate. I finished my degree, got married, moved out of home, relocated provinces, got a job, returned to Gauteng, bought a house, got a new job, had twins, and bought a dental practice. That’s probably more change in seven years than the first twenty put together!

If asked which aspect has been most significant, my reflexive response would be: parenting. Parenting has been one of the greatest joys and blessings I have experienced. It alters your perspective irrevocably, and shows you your own rough edges in a way that nothing else could.

One of the more interesting changes the little people achieve, is in your mind. Parents learn to predict the future. With almost perfect accuracy. This ability is not one which can be exercised at will, and it doesn’t extend more than about thirty-seconds into the future. Lets call it a Spidey-Sense, which only comes into play when the need arises. Perhaps it is a gift.

As your child goes about their kiddy-activities you get flashes of probable futures and generally you make moves to influence the outcome to be most favorable. Every now and then one possibility becomes a certainty. Sometimes, initially, you ignore this Spidey-Sense to your detriment, but soon you learn to trust it.

Maybe this child-clairvoyance is helpful as you shepherd little people through the dangerous years of an undeveloped frontal cortex, but in the rest of life, relying on your mind can be a problem.

Allowing possibilities too much weight in your thinking can cause you to live in fear of unrealities – things which might happen, but also might not (and usually won’t, in all probability).

This phenomenon is what causes us to fear the dark, or that noise you wake up to at 01:30am. It is usually irrational, and very often unhelpful. Of course, not giving any consideration to possibilities makes you reckless – in short, a teenager. Giving too much consideration to possibilities causes you to stagnate, take no risks, and lose enjoyment in life.

As a Christian, I have the most freeing reality to fall back on. It allows me to give due consideration to possibilities, without being paralyzed by “what-if’s”. This is the certainty that, “…for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. ” (Romans 8:28)

The above promise, along with the instruction to, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) helps me to strike the right balance and keep a hold on peace.

Life is about living, and taking action requires risk. Risk implies analysis of the odds, and analysis considers possibilities. Giving those possibilities the correct weight is the trick, and knowing how much to trust your own brain… well that is wisdom.

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