I read an article in today's sports page about a 55 year old veteran drag boat racer who died when his boat disintegrated shortly after crossing the finish line. At 214 mph and after 30 years of racing, it might be argued that he had a good run, a great life, wealth, riches and honor. Just reading the article though, not knowing the man personally, all I can think is, "putz." His loved ones mourn his loss because he had to ride life high and hard, pushing the limits every time he climbed into his boat pushing it to insane speeds. I don't think that is the way God intends us to live our lives, a life that was bought by the blood of Christ.
This past weekend, our Sunday School class discussed the Fear of the Lord and what it means. Deut. 6:2, directly after the 10 commandments are listed mentions that fear of the Lord will ensure a long life. Proverbs 22:4 says that humility and fear of the Lord will lead to riches, honor and a long life. But the scripture that really sunk in for me, as it pertains to understanding our RADishes, is Proverbs 1:7 that says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, that only fools despise wisdom and discipline. It was a HUZZAH! moment. Yes! Our RADishes foolishly despise wisdom and discipline!
One of Sissy's many diagnoses includes oppositional defiance disorder, which I think is really just a symptom of RADs. Every now and then Sissy's ODD rears it's ugly head and I feel like I have to play whack a mole to beat it out of her. Then the ODD will subside and one of her other diagnoses will rise up to be beat down. But the undercurrent of all of Sissy's behaviors lies in the root of Proverbs 1:7 and the principle of fear of the Lord.
The intent of the scriptures is not to cause Christ's followers to be physically and emotionally afraid of God, but to choose to know what he desires and to make every effort to meet those requests both with love and respect. The goal isn't to obtain the riches, honor and long life we are promised, but to do it because we want to, because we fear Him with a sense or honor. We owe Him the air we breathe, can we at least try to obey the 10 commandments so we have the opportunities to live long lives that might include riches and honor in return? It's not such a big thing of him to ask of us, is it?
As parents, we ask the same of our children, that they love and respect us, honor us and choose to cherish the instruction we give them because we have their best interests in mind. The other night when Sissy was hollering, stamping her feet and pitching her best 2 year old tantrum I said to her, "Sissy. Do you think your little fit hurts me? Because it doesn't. I tell you the things you need to know not to make you angry but because it is my job to teach you. You only hurt yourself when you refuse to accept my instruction. And you can pitch all the fits you want but I won't stop doing my job as your mom."
I know the words were lost on her, but I keep hoping the seeds I'm planting will eventually take root and cause a change in her. We've spent so much of this summer discussing good versus bad choices, that every single opportunity we have in life we are given the chance to choose correctly. But, as I always point out to my RADling, she has a yen to choose the bad choice. Every single time. It breaks my heart, it frustrates me, it exasperates me, it exhausts me and I feel so helpless to come up with a way that will encourage Sissy to steer straight not because she is afraid of the consequence but because she WANTS to.
How do we teach our RADishes, this fear of the Lord? How do we teach them to WANT to do what is right every chance they get? How do we help them embrace the desire to respect and honor not only their parents and God, but themselves? This is the missing piece in healing RADs that I have not been able to reconcile. There is no inherent drive in Sissy that makes her WANT what is right for the simple fact that it is right, even if she gains nothing. She is driven by selfish desire at the risk of her health, safety and well being across the board. Despite all the therapy and medication, this gap remains. Outside of praying Proverbs 1:7 over Sissy and modeling it, I don't know any other way to help Sissy embrace the truth that she'll get back in life that which she invests.
For now, Sissy keeps spending her invest money at 214 mph before she ever makes it to the bank, and her drag boat keeps disintegrating with her in it. I hope she won't do this for another 30 years when it will eventually take her life.