Raising Adolescent Kids and Systems…

Being taken for granted is an unpleasant but sincere form of praise. Ironically, the more reliable you are, and the less you complain, the more likely you are to be taken for granted. Gretchen Rubin

Meditation: As the mother of teenagers I am being taken for granted many times. I guess this is the job of a teenager to take the primary parent for granted, as their brains are focused pretty much only on “self”- and that 24 hours of each day. Additionally, I am currently the director of an “adolescent” second life cycle counseling center. And I am the pastor of an “adolescent” fourth or fifth life cycle church community. Today, I felt extremely exhausted as the primary “parent figure” of so much adolescent material. And somehow my husband, my Counseling Center Board and the Church Council don’t quite know or see the daily issues, the hourly mood swings, the minute for minute changing needs of an adolescent person or system. They are further removed. They get an update at the end of the day or at the end of the month, while I am involved in every growing pain and in every adolescent mood swing that comes my way. Yes, it is true, somehow it is a compliment to be trusted with so many growing needs, and the more reliable you are and the less your complain… However, I am looking forward to all of those in my care to grow up some more. I am looking to my husband, my Board and my Council to take some more time to get involved more closely. Adolescence is challenging, exhausting, ever changing and damn hard (excuse my language!) at times to care for. So I can’t do it alone… I will remain reliable, and I won’t complain, as I chose and love all three adolescent entities. But I will ask the question: “Who will join me in raising these three adolescent entities, because they love them, too?”

Prayer: Mother God, You must be so exhausted being with humanity, especially as we collectively act so adolescent right now and refuse to grow up. I wonder if You want to throw in the towel at times. I wonder if You wait as well for mature folks to come along and help You out in Your attempt to raise our country’s maturity level. God, let us not take You for granted, but work for the common good. Let us share in the burden of living in an adolescent acting country. Help us to share the responsibility, so that You are being honored in our kitchen, our workplace and on our streets. Amen

Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets. Hebrew 13:16