Personal Online Journal

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What do you really, really want?

My wife was praying tonight that our children would be inspired to do their homework and chores.  A couple weeks ago she said that electronics were no longer available from Sun-Thu.  Now that means no playing Wii, and no entertainment-only flash games on the computer or on the iPad.  Instead, our kids have actually played more with their physical toys.  The problem seems to be that they also have not been as diligent about their chores and piano practice.  Before, we would use electronics as a carrot or a stick for chores or piano practice.  Now that they are off limits, the motivation also seems to be gone.

Two thoughts came to me when I heard her pray.

I remembered this clip from the movie The Count of Monte Cristo. Edmund has been in a political prison for five years when a floor stone pops up and Abbe Faria comes up. He has been in prison for 11 years. For the last five years he has been digging a tunnel to what he thought was the external wall. Abbe had narrowed down the possible directions to the external wall to two and had chosen the wrong one. This is where the clip (0:45-1:30) picks up.

"With two of us, we could dig in the opposite direction. And with both of us together, then of course we could possibly do it in um...oh...8 years. [Edmond laughs] Ohh... and does something else demand your time? Some pressing appointment, perhaps?" Edmund helps Abbe dig for years in return for lessons in reading, writing and more advanced learning.

The second thought was something I learned from "7 Habits of Highly Effective People".   I remembered the difference between dependence, independence and interdependence.  If my children can learn to be independent, for their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs, they can then freely give of their particular talents and develop more and more talents.  We can join together in a perfect harmony of the music of our lives.  Forever learning new things, sharing what we have learned.  And experience a richness of life we never knew before.

I know that there are many times that I feel how I imagine my children feeling.  That it is not necessarily fun to have to go to work again.  Or have to do my chores.  But what would I rather do instead?  At the end of the next 6 months would I rather have watched 300 hours of TV or would I rather have developed a talent.  Or overcome a weakness or become substantially more like God in any way?

What do I really really want?  Because one thing that I know for sure is that we usually get it sooner.  And it seems we always get it later.


Dandi said...

What if I have a real talent for watching tv? j/k Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed thinking about it all.

Stephanie said...

Great thoughts, Hun. I love how thoughtful and earnest you are!

Franki said...

Richard, you are amazing. I am so grateful that you are a part of my life....