I remember the cold winters in Idaho as a child. Mama would get my sister and me up early for school. She helped us get dressed, fed us breakfast, packed a lunch, bundled us up and sent us off to school.
It was warm as toast in our house, but Mama knew it was cold outside so she prepared us for the journey ahead. She would put on my coat, hat and mittens, and check to make sure I had warm socks on underneath the tall boots that underlined my knees.
She prepared us the best she could – but she didn’t go with us. She just prepared us for the journey – the rest was up to us.
I was the oldest, so I had to hold my little sister’s hand and make sure she got to school safely before going to my class. After school, she had to wait for me by the door of my classroom and we would walk home together.
After a day of school, the walk home was cold and crisp, but there mama would be waiting in a nice warm house to help us strip the winter garb off. We were safely home now.
We do our best to prepare our children for the journey of life. We teach them Bible songs, tell them stories of a great flood, Daniel in the lion’s den and the miraculous healings Jesus performed when He walked this earth from the Word of God. We teach them how to pray and how to respect their elders. We do all we can because we know how cold it is outside, and they must be prepared. Then, when they are ready, we send them out into the world hoping we prepared them for the storm of life.
After we send them off, all we can do is wait, because we can’t go with them. We wait, and we pray. We know that they have to make some decisions without us and take some responsibility. They know their way home, because they know we are here, waiting, and ready to welcome them into the warm, shelter of home.