If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood,
and don’t assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Sunshine has been tickling our skin and warming our hearts with a new longing to be outdoors. It feels good to pause and take some big gulps of air. My children’s laughter and contentment under the big blue umbrella of sky and clouds puts a giddy beat in my heart.
Watching them play, create, and imagine never ceases to inspire me. It comes so naturally. It makes so much sense. You do what you love. You tap into that sweet spot of passion and joy, and out comes a veritable geyser of purpose and drive.
I feel like I’m always getting to know my kids. The things that tick them off. The things that make them cringe with insecurity and doubt. The things that make them soar. On one hand, there’s so much of me I see in them. On the other hand, they are as foreign and confusing to me as quantum physics.
But one thing I do know. They long for a taste of something that is real, rich, and meaningful. They seek purpose. They crave understanding. And they desperately long for love and grace. Just as I do.
In the midst of learning to read and write, kick a ball in the right direction, eat vegetables, and all the other little busy goals set before them, I need to remember to invest in their passion for life. They need to see the immensity of what it is to live and breathe. The immensity of what they are worth. The immensity of God’s love and redemption. I can teach them to do things, but if the heart is not there, it will be nothing but a task. Yet another duty in life that suffocates. Yet another goal to chase after for the sake of some nebulous definition of success or acceptance.
The silhouette of my kids looks small against the vastness of the sea, each glistening wave tumbling one over the other. As they grow, I’m praying they would have the courage and passion to not just build ships safely on shore, but to set sail with an insatiable longing for all that is good, lovely, and true.