If you've read the past few posts, you've probably figured out I've been reflecting on the 10 Commandments and how I've been focusing on them in my own life. I remember how they felt like a whole list of don't and didn't really pay too much attention to them when I was learning them in church and school, especially the honour your parents one. It's not that I was a bad kid, it's more that I kind of ignored my parents. If figured as long as I mostly followed the rules they set and made sure they didn't catch me in the ones I didn't follow, that I was alright.
This commandment took on a lot more meaning when I became an adult and a parent, not because I wanted my kids to obey me without any questions because of my great wisdom (well maybe), but because I felt a call into ministry in my 30s and this meant giving up a really good job and moving my family far away from my family. But what worried my parent more was the financial hit this was going to give my wife and I. Not having a university degree at the time meant that there was 8 years of school ahead of us and lots of student loans. My father strongly urged me to reconsider as it would mean a lot of lean years for my family and big debt afterwards. My dad had immigrated to Canada after WW 2 for a better life and he worked hard to make sure we had things he didn't as a child. He wanted the best for my family and thought I was throwing away a secure financial future.
That's when this commandment really bothered me, did honoring my dad mean not going into ministry? I sat with this question for quite a while because I really wanted to honour my dad's concern and love. Early one morning, while working at the bakery, it struck me that by sitting with this question was honouring my dad, even if I went against his advice, I gave it weight in my decision. It allowed me and my wife and kids to head off into the great unknown of 8 years of school and a call on my heart into ministry with a clear conscience.
I'm grateful for a father and mother who cared enough to challenge my plans and then support us when we went against their advice. The Lord provided for us over the next 8 years, many times in ways that brought tears to our eyes and I believe that I made my parents proud, even if I was a little bit stubborn.
Thanks mom and dad.