Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lessons We Learn From Movies

My husband and I, along with our two youngest children are spending the week in Paint Rock, Texas to learn water well drilling from Water for All International. I began getting things together for our trip and cleaning last week. When we were at Targ*t the kids asked for a movie for the trip.

We are one of those rare families who does NOT have our TV hooked up to cable or even to an antennae. Instead of that, we buy movies and old TV series on DVD. We have a large collection of movies. This time they wanted to get the new Karate Kid.

Its a cute movie. Different and yet the same as the first one. This one takes place in China. This young boy loses his dad and his moms only option to make a living is to take this job in China. Dre is a 12 year old boy who is very upset about leaving the home he grew up in, the friends he has made in those years and everything he is familiar with. He has to learn a new language and make all new friends. On the first day he arrives he meets the mean kids that torment him throughout the movie. Getting a black eye on the day you get to your new home isn't exactly the way to a good attitude. After a week in China Dre and his mom have a confrontation. She has been trying to stay positive and find good in things. He finally explodes after holding it in and being bullied all week.

With our family going through mission training and planning on living cross-culturally long term very soon, this movie hit home to me. As I sat there looking at the moms face as her son blew up and told her how much he hated it there, I totally understood how she felt. As a mom, she had been trying to help him find his way and see the good. But he hated it. And there was nothing she could do to change it. It was her only way to make a living to support them. She didn't choose for her husband to die and leave her with that responsibility. But she made the choices she felt she needed to make that were best for her family.

Our son has been struggling with moving overseas. He doesn't want to do it. He wants to do the stuff we are training for, just not long term. He understands the need to go and help people have clean water. But leaving the home he has grow up the last 12 years and all of his friends isn't something he is happy about. We have been praying about ways to help the kids understand and deal with this move into full time service. We don't just want to throw them into a new world without preparation. We are preparing ourselves, after all.

While we watched the confrontation I was just moved to talk to him about it. I told him how I could understand how the mom felt in that scene. As a parent you want what is best for your children and you want to set a good example for them and help them through the hard times. I was led to ask a few questions. "When you grow up do you want your children to tell you where you are going to live or where you are going to work or do you think that is something you and your wife should decide?" "Do you trust us to follow only where God would have us go?" He thought about those questions and answered "yes" to them. That gives us a foundation to build on with him and our daughter. Some more questions they need to think about.

As parents it is our responsibility to decide what is best for our family. We don't sit around thinking "What can we do today to make our kids miserable" despite the fact that many think it's true. One of the best things a parent can do is seek God's will for their lives and the lives of their children. When we are inline with God's will we have a peace that isn't there at other times. Seeking His guidance is never a mistake.