When Alex and Nick were very young, we knew what they were doing all the time.
No, really, ALL the time.
It was incredibly exhausting.
As they grew and we had witnessed enough wonderful choices and decisions, we stepped back a bit and parts of their day were their own.
Of course, we’d hear the pitter-patter of feet coming down the hall, giggles, and Nick emerging around the corner.
“Mom, Dad…wait just a minute.”
And then he’d disappear around the corner again and we could hear loud whispers of “what was I supposed to ask”, followed by an intense whisper by his sister of exactly what it was that she wanted.
We’d call “come out you two” and we’d wait for them to come, pushing each other a little so as to not be the one in front.
Soon they were on our laps and we’d talk about just what it was on their minds.
Quickly, however, this magical time disappeared and was replaced by more serious petitions about things that truly mattered to them.
Most often these were things that Ann and I could decide in milliseconds but had weighed heavily on them all afternoon. It usually just needed a few carefully phrased questions by their Mom or Dad and they could figure out their answer.
When they were in their late teens, Alex and Nick had virtual freedom. There were still things here and there that Ann and I had to say “no” to, but for the most part we just needed them to let us know the details of what was going on and asked them what they needed from us.
Now, they are adults. Alex lives on the other side of the country and has traveled across the ocean and back – alone. Nick spent two grueling years in Peru only to return to jump head first into an intense schooling regimen.
We no longer require to know the details of what is going on.
We don’t need to.
Recently we told Nick that there was nothing he could possibly do that would make us angry, because we know that any slipups he may make would not be out of rebellion or bad decisions.
They would be mistakes.
And we would be there to help him in every way we could.
The same goes for Alex.
Of course, Ann and I love to know and grasp every fragmented detail of their lives we can get our hands on. We share them quickly with each other, marveling at just how magnificent they are.
Now, when they come to us for our views on things, ultimately each decision is theirs.
As are the consequences.
We all travel this same journey with our Heavenly Father.
It reminds me a bit of one of my great heroes: Nephi, the son of Helaman. Even though he was certain to still have slipups, they would not be malicious mistakes.
yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.
Nephi had grown from small child who needed guidance on everything to adult child who knew the will of his Father. Because of his humility in acting on every answer he received, he was able to ask for his righteous desires in confidence.
You see, his Father knew how he chose.
That’s the key, isn’t it?
I guess the question now is does our Father in Heaven know how we will choose?
Or are we still the small child pushing another to stand in front and ask the question for us?
I’ve come to know as I’m working my way through life that there will be times that my will and His are different. That’s okay.
It won’t stop me from standing back up and confidently asking again, humbly knowing that He will answer.
Don’t let it stop you either.