Radical Investing for Kids…

Some of us fathers get sweaty and nauseated just thinking about how we are EVER going to afford for our kids college, a daughter’s wedding or our own “some day” retirement. With $4.00 a gallon gas, and noticeable inflation at Kroger, its common sense for families to be cutting back on spending, saving and doing.  My family is no exception. But I want to encourage parents to consider an unconventional “Radical Investment” for their families.

How about a vacation, How about a Road Trip ?

Yes, a serious and amazing vacation with your family that would cost some money and time and energy for sure… but the payoff could be epic. It’s a radical investment in their well-being and yours. I know you have little if any extra money right now… but consider this; HOW MUCH LONGER WILL YOUR KIDS BE WITH YOU ?

Sobering thought… is it four more years ? (for clarification, that means they would be finishing up eighth grade this spring) Is it five or two or ten ? No matter what the answer is… it’s not long enough. How can the time you have left as family be wisely invested ?

If your like me, you can fritter it away doing nightly duties of dishes, trash, homework, emails and whatever isn’t too vile on prime time television. Occasionally a family movie night or dinner out at Logan’s or an Asian bistro ? We talk about school, friends, church, local events or current fave’s on their iPod’s. But in the end it’s all very superficial and very safe. It’s Normal. Which in our society can be a huge accomplishment for sure.

But I want more.

I want EPIC. I want to “suck the marrow out of life” (Quote from the movie “Dead Poet’s Society”) and as Jesus says… “Life more abundant and free”. I want to live with my kids, not survive. I want to teach them to reach for the beauty that is ours for the sharing. I want to introduce them to our American History and endless western plains, to show them the indescribable beauty of sunrise at 10,000 feet and snow in July in the Rockies. I want to explore the undiscovered and forgotten places of our land and share the thrill of finding a diner that makes perfect pancakes.

I want to make a RADICAL INVESTMENT in my kids before they are surrounded by life, overwhelmed by the obligations of adulthood and the saturation of their hearts with worry and fear and frustration. I want to show them the “relief valve” that God showed me.

I want to model for them the amazing power of creation to restore our hearts and renew our minds. I want to show them how to sacrifice their time for their some-day kids and families. To emphasize the importance of being together in a sweaty mini-van and of sharing the last can of Red Bull of the need for each other and of non-electrical communication with other human beings. I want to prove to them they are more important to me than my work, my ministry or my own sleep. I want to show them the incredible gift of Life that God has for us and what it feels like to be ALIVE.

So if you feel like I do… prayerfully consider what you can do this summer to make some “Radical Investments” in your kids. Maybe its as simple as a un-expected trip to the beach, or a weekend in the mountains. Maybe it’s as complex as driving West for ten days or East for five with no reservations and no plans. Just  grab some clean undies, junk food and flip-flops, a map and some carefully saved cash. Just go… and go looking for real adventure and new life and shared discovery. GO. Time is a wasting.

Whatever it is… DO IT.

I promise, your family will never forget it and your kids will cherish the time YOU TAKE to INVEST IN THEM.

Blessings… as you like me… seek to help your families “keep it on the road and in-between the lines of life“. Oh and I have to confess… I LOVE ROADTRIPPING… 🙂

Brad.

Faith Dare

Matthew 19:14 (ESV) but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  

As any father will tell you… holding our kids in our arms when they are  little, creates a lifetime memory of that moment. It captures the strength of our love for them, of the pure joy and happiness without any guile that cannot be duplicated or replaced. I still remember holding each of my three children at different times in their lives, the look on their tiny faces of complete trust, love and contentment to just be held by their daddy. It warms me still to this day…even as I write this.

As parents, we would never just walk away from our little one’s, never allow them to come to harm from a stranger or misplace them, we are careful to cherish and hold and cuddle and coo and wrap them up as the precious and irreplaceable gifts of life they are.

As kids once ourselves we can remember the simple “joys of our innocence”. The days and years of not having to worry about our lives, our mortgages or the price of gas. We just took each day as it came, anxious to get up and explore and learn and live and grow with our families and friends and neighbors. “Those were the days”… we say.  

I believe when we choose to simply trust God at his word, we re-experience both the profound love and peace of being comforted by our “daddy” (Abba) father in Heaven, and the innocence of living life today, not concerned or worried for tomorrow.

It’s Jesus himself who reminds us to just  follow His father along with him, like we did as kids. Sort of like a toddler would, full of simple innocence and complete trust as to the motives and nature of our heavenly father.It’s really only when we allow ourselves to revert to such a childlike state of being, that we truly begin to experience the Kingdom of God for ourselves.

So, it’s no surprise that when we continue to try to live our lives as “adults” we live with such frustration and fear and exhaustion that we often just settle for trying to simply exist. We rise slightly nauseous each morning with the fears of the day immediately attacking our minds and robbing us of our happiness. We live off balance from the moment we awake until we drop back into our beds in a state of sheer exhaustion, hopeful “some day” things will change.

When you stop to think about this…for most of us…It’s truly a huge effort to even gather a smile for life, or to muster up sincere  affection for our loved ones or to take the time to genuinely compliment someone at work.  After all, we’ve spent everything we have just in the struggle to constantly push back the darkness and despair that comes at us from every side

Information is always interrupting us, forcing us to figure out how, when, why we might somehow cope with all of the terrible and miserable news of our world. I mean with the 24/7 / 365 news alerts about the onslaught of Economic collapse, Global warming, Natural disasters or the latest research about our kids spiraling Moral decline. It’s killing us. It’s strangling our hope, and our love and our joy and it’s relentless, insidious and oh so cerebral. It hints to us, that life is really all up to us to figure out and solve and fix… but we can’t.

What’s the solution then ?

Look to the little one’s… they hold the secret of living life well in their chubby little hands. Let go, and Let God. It’s that simple and it’s that profound. I dare you… I did. And it saved my life… Just like Jesus said it would.

Peace out,

brad.