With all due respect, what’s harder: to be an idolized rock star [Bono] who travels around the world touting good causes and chiding governments for their lack of foreign aid, or to be a line worker at GM with four kids and a mortgage, who tithes to his church, sings in the choir every week, serves on the school board, and supports a Christian relief agency and a few missionaries from his disposable income?
As I read Kevin DeYoung’s article on the plea for “plodding visionaries,” as he calls them, it made me realize something in reference to the next generation, my kids. This question came to mind: ‘What do my kids really need to see in and from my life?’
Do they need to see daddy become famous? Do they need to see me impact millions around the world through a position of prominence? Do they need to see me picketing on Wall Street? Do they need to see me travel Europe to find myself? Do they need to see me rapidly advance in my career and rake in more money and prestige and power? Do they need to see us upgrading our stuff and our lifestyle?
No, they don’t need any of that. They need to see me go to work everyday to a job I don’t necessarily love but am grateful for because it provides. They need to see me love their mother, serve her, and cherish her in all the ways that are so not-glamorous. They need to see me pay mortgages, ER bills, and buy tires for the Griswold Family Truckster.
They need to see me take them to church each week, kneel in confession, rejoice in the forgiveness of a Father who gave his Son, and then seek to father them along those same lines. They need to see me cut grass, take care of the dog, and pull weeds in the front yard (it’s mostly dirt right now; not even weeds will grow in my brown-thumb yard).
Faithfulness. Plodding visionaries. For a generation that heard nothing but “follow your dreams” and “go change the world” (that would be my own), it’s time to toss that lie and embrace Jesus’ call: go lay down your life for your family in sacrificial faithfulness. The one thing I want my kids to know when I’m dead and gone is this—he showed us what it meant to live by these words: “It’s my life for yours.“