Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting Back On

If you fall off a horse, you are supposed to get right back on.

I didn't fall off. But, I dismounted from writing Bravehearts and haven't been back on for almost three months. My main ministry work has been deep and wide, so I have been riding that horse more than normal.

I tried to get back on this one after three or four weeks and failed. I had ideas. But, I didn't think they were good enough. And, the longer I was off, the better I thought I had to be. The harder it got to get back on.

I finally mustered up the courage to tell you that. And, to get back on this horse. Braveheart, the courage to try, is too important to not get back. Parents are told to not let their children lose heart in Colossians 3:21. A child who has lost heart gives up and doesn't try. That child never develops the gifts God has given him or her. Every child should have the opportunity to become and do what God offers. A brave heart to try makes the difference.

I learned some braveheart lessons about getting back on the horse. Maybe they will help:

First, it is true. If you fall off, get back on as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it gets and the more courage it takes. Doing good things, like kindness to a lonely person, hard school work, and training for athletics all become harder the longer you are away. If something interrupts doing good and right things, help your child get back to it as quickly as possible.

Second, the longer it takes, the more doubts you have. You begin to wonder if it was worth it. You begin to wonder if the hole got too big to fill. You begin to wonder what people will think. The longer you wait, the more courage it takes to come back, to overcome doubts and weaknesses that have crept in. Help your child talk about the doubts and don't let doubts determine the future. Help him or her know that coming back is a big part of a successful life. Help your child make a plan with manageable steps. Give hope.

Third, pick the right horse. Some horses might not be worth getting back on. Or, not a good fit. But, if it is the right horse or activity or relationship, it is worth whatever it takes to get back. Help your child know what is important and good, and ride those horses, even if he or she falls off sometimes. A conversation yesterday with a reader of Building Bravehearts helped me remember the value. Passion for the right things gives courage to try. It helped me.

May God help you raise a child who has the courage to try, to use and become what God has offered.