Who can ever forget Kermit, resplendent beside Miss Piggy, singing,"It's Not Easy Being Green?"
I used to watch that with our son when he was still knee-high to a grasshopper.
At those times I had already started to dread the teen years. Little did I know that even though our son is a good guy, still, the times of greatest motherly angst would come after adolescence.
Put succinctly, it's not easy being young.
Why did I ever think it was?
How could I have forgotten the trauma of dating, falling in love, breaking up?
How could I have forgotten the decisions that loomed large? School. Career. Finances.
Getting started. It's just not easy.
I see this from time to time not only in my son but also in his friends.
I've read that when you are a child, you draw your identity from your parents.
When you are a teen, you move away from the parents and draw your identity from your peers, for better or for worse.
When you suddenly find yourself thrust out into the adult world, where does your identity come from?
Your job? The one you date? (Or don't date?) Or even worse, the sum total of the decisions you have made in order to get where you are up to that point?
For the Christian, our identity is found in the love and grace of Christ.
In retrospect, I believe that our children need to know this as well or even better than they know their own names. I think it needs to be drilled into their impressionable minds from the get go: you are who Christ says you are. You are loved. You are not the sum total of your choices. Some will be good. Some won't be. Good choices will make you feel better and get you farther down the road of life. But none of your choices will define who you are. The love of God does that.
You are who He says you are.
We like to say that the past doesn't define us. But then we turn around and define ourselves and others by what we've done up to that point.
Yesterday I got the yard mowed, the bills paid, and I took chicken soup to a needy neighbor. I.e.: I was a good person.
Today I blew it six ways to Sunday, lied to my neighbor because I didn't want to be bothered by their incessant requests to use my phone and let the dust bunnies pile up while I sat around in my jammies, watched t.v., and ate chocolate. So now I'm a bad person.
Maybe I did better on one day than on the other.
But the fact remains: yesterday I was a person for whom Christ died and today I am exactly the same - a person for whom Christ died.
No more; no less.