For most of Australia winter has now come and many of us are not enjoying it. Some places are having really sharp cold weather. Before we get too chilled it is worth remembering just how much good this cold can bring. I live on the Capricorn Coast and last summer we had no mangoes on our trees. I don’t mean few, I mean none, not one. One theory about the cause is because last winter was so mild, the trees didn’t switch into fruiting mode. The way of nature is often ‘no pain, no gain’.
We can find a parallel in our own lives as well. It is often by set-backs, difficulties, failures, that we learn who we really are and what our capabilities are. As parents and teachers, we want to protect the children in our care from these things but we have to ask: are we really serving them for rich and fulfilling lives by protecting them from all that is hard. This is not about being hard so your child feels put down but rather using difficulties to help them grow. How do you tell the difference? Look back over your own life and recognise the challenges in your childhood that helped you grow and those that undermined your growth. There should be a different ‘feel’ between them. When your child struggles in a situation, use that feeling to determine whether this situation is something they can grow through or whether you need to intervene for their care. Ask for the wisdom of God’s Spirit to help you make wise decisions as you try to nurture them into the fullness of life that both you and God desire for them.
Loving God, life can be difficult and hard at times, both for us individually and as a family. Send us the your wise Spirit to guide us into the ways of Jesus. Let his love and peace guide our decisions, especially in hard and painful times. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb