I have written previously about teaching with passion , and I speak frequently about igniting our children’s passions. After a recent experience, however, it occurred to me that I should perhaps look at this concept of passion from a different angle.
This year as a part of our homeschool we deliberately close her planner for a day, labeling that time together as our “discovery day.” Our intentions were good. But the challenge of having a day in which very little, if anything, is scheduled is that it becomes difficult to make yourself do something. Let me be specific: I always have something to do. The youngest, however, without a bit of nudging, will all-too-quickly revert to her summer/ weekend habits (phone, computer, etc.) Our mornings in the park came to a dead halt when news stories surfaced of mischievous, clowned-faced morons harassing people at the local area parks. Now I could not draaaaggg her to a park if I tried. Darn clowns.
A few months back, the youngest wrote a current events summary based upon an article on modern-day slavery. The article struck an emotional chord, and she mentioned that she wished she could do more. Well, like any good homeschooling mom when your kid says, “I might like to…,” my lesson plan/ extended research/ planned activity/let’s take this further mode kicked into high gear. By the time I heard about the Walk For Freedom, I had visions of, in the words of R&B songstress Jill Scott, ‘the queen with the nappy hair raising a fist!’
As the Lord is merciful to us all, I have calmed down since then. 😉
Allow me to share with you what really happened. We will begin here, with the A21 Foundation.
Here are some facts about modern-day slavery. From the A21 website,
- There are 27 million people in bondage across the globe.
- Only 1-2% of victims are ever rescued.
- The average victim of human trafficking is 12 years old.
Using a “4 P’s ” strategy–protection, prevention, prosecution, and partnership–this organization seeks to abolish (hence the “A”) modern-day slavery by 2021 (hence the “21”).
So, on a bright
late summer early fall morning in which the weather cooperated (almost), we struck out along with 348 other attendees to walk a commemorative mile and bring more attention to this global issue. I had thought of this as a time to discuss doing more–about igniting passion. How was she feeling? What might be our next steps? How could we get more involved at the local level? Only one thing stood in my way:
This was a walk of silence. Darn duct tape.
Since I couldn’t talk to anyone, it was a perfect time to talk to my Father. I thanked Him, at first for the morning, for the sun, for the beautiful day. Then I began to thank Him for the time, for the cause, for the turnout of concerned, committed folks, and for the opportunity to do something for His glory. Then, as my mind often travels in prayer, I began to pray over our family–my husband, the kids, and for this youngest one specifically. Touch her heart, Lord. Let her know how much she is loved–by You and by us. Be a fence all around her. Protect her from friends, music, and other influences that keep her from drawing closer to You. Whatever you have to move, Lord, just do it. Create in her a clean heart and renew a right spirit within her. Give her a fresh anointing, and strike something in her that makes her want to run on for You.
By the time we circled back to our original destination, my prayer became one of thanksgiving again–thanks that the sun didn’t get too high by the time the walk ended, thanks that I didn’t trip and fall and embarrass myself on the walk, thanks that none of the aches and pains that unexpectedly sometimes beset my 50-year-old frame cropped up along the way.
Will there be another level of passion to follow this special event? I don’t know, and though I joke about being one of those homeschool moms who might be just a little too driven, I have learned to back off. Her passions have to be her passions. In the meantime, I learned quite a bit about a crisis with which I was only vaguely familiar, and who knows where that could lead. After all, our initial interest in missions sprang from a simple desire for each of our children to take a trip to an underdeveloped land during their high school years. This single desire has blossomed into a giving and living mentality that shapes who we are as a family.
Once upon a time I would often encourage parents to help their kids develop passions and goals through exposure to all kinds of things. But on this day, I thought about another reason to help your child discover his/ her passions: doing so might just spark something magnificent in you.