One of the hardest and most important challenges we face as parents is that of helping our children learn that there are consequences for their actions — or even their inactions. Specifically, their choices often have ramifications far beyond just themselves.
Helping young people early on to understand this reality is difficult. None of us is an island. What we do or do not do has the potential to have an impact far beyond us, or our very small circles.
As we mature and have more life experiences, most of us grasp the choice/consequence equation. I am not paying attention while I am mowing the lawn and run over an in-ground sprinkler head. I feel frustrated that I broke the sprinkler and now I have to buy a new one. However, in the two days it takes me to fix it, water from my sprinkler shoots on my neighbor’s window, flooding his basement. My choices: my actions or inactions, don’t just affect me.
Part of what I — like many — enjoy about Convention is that family-reunion, larger-family feel of our gathering. It warms my heart to see our diversity of context and culture coming together for worship and fellowship, and to discern where God is calling us. Amidst it all I have to constantly remind myself that the choices, actions or inactions we take should never be based just on a single person or single faith community — but on our larger body and the world we live in. In many respects, this is the essence of our call to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind — and to love our neighbor as ourselves.