Owl Pellets and Trampolines

I have kids.  God has blessed me with two sets.  Our eldest turned 18 last year and our youngest is 5.  I’m going to be parenting for a relatively long time.  While my wife and I don’t regret having our younger set of kids, we sometimes wonder what life would be like if we were just two years away from an empty nest as opposed to 13 years away.  There are days when we wonder if parenting isn’t better suited to younger people.  I think today might have been one of those days for my wife.  Perhaps because she’s trying to homeschool and support her minister husband and keep an immaculate house- all of which she does exceptionally.

Today was not one of those days for me.  When I came home for lunch, my 8-year-old boy pulled me into his room to look at a partially digested bird skull which he sifted out of an owl pellet.  We talked about how we’d seen and heard owls around our house and wondered if we should go on a search for the biological gems under the trees in the backyard.  He decided that he would paint me a picture of an owl to hang in my office.

After lunch, my 5-year-old daughter drug me out to jump on the trampoline with her.  I was reluctant.  I had a lot of work waiting on me at the office and, frankly, jumping on the trampoline has lost a bit of it’s mystique for me over the years.  Her persistence, as it most often does, won out over my laziness and I went.  I’m glad I did.  We bounced in an alternating rythm like two pistons in an engine.  Every time I passed her face, the sheer look of glee, washed over me in waves of sublime satisfaction.  This was eternity and it would pass all took quickly.  That’s why I write this- to hold onto that holy eternal moment.  I only hope that in the timelessness of my God we will be granted the right to revist times like this whenever we wish.  Just in case we can’t, I pray for the grace while passing through this brief existence to seize his blessings to be found in owl pellets and on trampolines.

An imbalanced approach

I’ve always tended toward being obsessive-hardly a complimentary adjective. Perhaps our negative view of obsessiveness comes not from the quality in and of itself but because it is too narrowly focussed.  When this happens, the obsessed person becomes imbalanced, as resources flow to one side of his personality. Well-meaning counselors might suggest that a person spread out his attention to find balance.  But, what if obsession found an all-encompassing object.

For years I’ve heard that a balanced person puts God first, family second, work third.  To put numbers to it, one might say we should give 50% of our resources to God, 30% to family, 20% to work.  Of couse this formula would never work.  A “balanced” approach never does.  God deserves no less than 100% and in fact by giving him his due, somehow we’re able to give 100% to everything else.  Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said, “The one who would lose his life will find it.”