Wednesday, May 20, 2009

“You want to do WHAT?!”

“I’m thinking about helping with the senior prank.” Christian presented this in the same tone that he would use if saying something like “I can’t decide if I want toast for breakfast or cereal.” I was that casual.

My immediate mom response was, “No way! If you get in trouble they might not let you go through the graduation ceremony. We have relatives coming to town who are excited to see you graduate. So no! Christian, seriously, you will not . . . Please say you're aren't serious about this.”

“Mom, it’s no big deal! Johnny, from church, did it last year and he didn’t get in trouble. I don’t even know if I want to do it. I said I was thinking about it.”

Then it hit me. The more I went on about the issue, the more Christian would want to do it. So I dropped it for about an hour then asked, “So what are they planning anyway.”

Christian shrugged. “I don’t know.” He mentioned his fear that he could end up with a group that decided to do something stupid. I decided to leave him alone and pray that he would make the right choice.

He hasn’t given me the official verdict yet. I have a feeling that he has decided against it. I know that he wants to cut school on Senior Ditch Day. But he has worked too hard to blow graduation over a silly prank.

This whole thing reminded me that sometimes I need to let go of my fears and trust people to make the right decisions, especially if they have a good track record (as Christian definitely does). This goes for my kids, my friends, or anyone that I hope to sway in a certain direction. When have threats, probing, nagging, or whining truly helped a situation? If my kids make a good choice I want it to come from a desire to do the right thing. God gives us free will, so shouldn't we do the same with each other? Obviously He also let's us face the consequences if we choose the wrong path but He loves us enough to not force us down the correct one with threats and nagging. How else do we learn?

Now I'm just praying that Christian will do the right thing in the end.

What have you learned lately about the benefits of backing off? What lessons have you learned from NOT making the right choice?

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