I write about my son a lot. I learn a great deal from him. As I continue to grow as a parent, I see a little bit more and more of how God must see us. I’v also learned a lot about what it means to chase after a dream.
This afternoon my wife and son were on their way home. She mentioned something about hurrying to get home and he asked why. She reminded him he had karate and he sighed. He didn’t want to go.
When I got home he was moping around, taking his time getting ready, and looking generally pathetic. My wife told me about their conversation and his lack of desire to go to karate. Now, I don’t want to be one of those dads who pushes their kids to do things because that’s what I want. So, if the kid has a good reason for skipping a karate class then I want to hear it. If he felt like he needed a break for the night then that’s fine. If he was tired of karate all together then I wanted to hear about it. But it was neither of those. He couldn’t articulate anything other than the fact that he wanted to watch TV, play Legos, and lie on the couch.
It went something like this:
“Hey buddy, what’s going on.”
“Nothing.” He replied.
“Why aren’t you ready for karate?” I asked.
“I just don’t want to go.” He answered.
“Ok. Why not?”
“I want to stay here and watch TV.”
“And what else?” I queried.
“…and play Legos…and lay on the couch.”
“So you want to skip karate to watch TV, play Legos, and lie on the couch?”
“Well, buddy, I’d rather lie on the couch too, but sometimes we just have to do certain things. And if you don’t have a good reason for not going to karate, then you should probably go to karate.”
“But I don’t want to go.”
“Why not?” I asked again.
“I just told you why.” He responded.
“Yeah, but watching TV is not an excuse for skipping karate.”
“Ahhhhhh.” He whined.
This went on and on for a while. We are getting good at arguing back and forth like this. I was trying to pry out of the him some root reason why he didn’t want to go. I was looking for, I just want to rest. I’m tired. Or, can’t I just take one night off? I probably would have melted and given in to one of those. But all he could come up with was the answer he was giving me. I did make it a point to clarify that he just wanted to skip tonight and not stop karate all together. It made me feel alot better that he still wanted to do karate, just not tonight.
In the end, he went to karate. And, as we were leaving he said, “that was a really good class.”
“Oh. Good. Are you glad you came?” I asked.
He was hesitant to respond and didn’t give me a real answer. He kind of shrugged it off and didn’t want to admit that he enjoyed going to class tonight.
The funny thing was, I would have been perfectly happy staying home tonight and doing exactly what he wanted us to do. But, he has committed to karate. He wants to pursue this endeavor and sometimes that means that we as parents are going to have to push him towards his goal even when everything inside of him is yelling at him to just stay home.
How often do we, as adults, talk ourselves into lying on the couch and watching TV when we should be doing something else? How many times do we convince ourselves that we need/deserve a break from pursuing our dream? How many times do we justify being lazy because we had a hard day, week, or year?
No one ever said our dreams and goals would be easy to achieve. No one said we would always get all the sleep we wanted. No one said there would be breaks. No one said your weekend would still be a time for rest, relaxation, and splurging.
Yet, we all do it. Now, you can play the Sabbath card. That’s fine. No one can argue against a day of rest. But when a day turns into a week, turns into a month, turns into, “whatever happened to my dream?” well then that is a problem
If you have committed to something; if you have found your passion, and set a course for a particular goal or destination then you owe it to yourself to pursue it with everything you have. You would also be wise to surround yourself with people who will not let you justify taking the easy route when the hard route is the clear choice. Find people who will hold you accountable, and you will find companions on the road to your dreams. Those same people will be your biggest supporters, and the ones cheering the loudest when you finally get to where you are trying to go. No one wants to cross a finish line and see only strange, unfamiliar faces.
Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do the thing you don’t want to do. And, from what I can tell, it’s never as bad as you thought it would be.
What are you avoiding today?