Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

I am an Adrian Peterson fan. That’s not entirely popular at the moment as his is certainly a flawed human being and has much to straighten out in his existence. Still, I admire him. Here’s why. It is not only that he is one of the top running backs in the history of the National Football League nor because he plays for my lifetime-home-team but that he is possibly the toughest to ever pound the gridiron. Each time facing adversity Peterson rises to the challenge with focus and determination. Case in point: after shredding his knee at the end of the 2011 his career may well have ended. Conversely, while expectations for 2012 diminished he carried his team to the playoffs in one of the most outstanding seasons in history. That’s toughness, both physical and mental.16846_323468214615_5551878_n

Now he faces another strange challenge. He offered plea of no-contest to child abuse charges after he admittedly disciplined his son with a switch. Excessive. Brutal. Picture documentation was disturbing showing welts and bruises over the boy’s body. Whether he plays again is in the hands of league officials and this storied career may end, due not to injury or age but behavior. Peterson declares all along he disciplines his children, (several children by several women), only as he himself was disciplined.

This, too, is disturbing and raises questions for me regarding our celebrity crazed society. We love our stars, are fascinated by their rise and fall, and hang on their words and actions. Adrian Peterson has some serious issues; he needs help. Public outcry is for punishment and I agree such behavior should not go without consequence. I am also one to say it is not enough. He may never play football again but is a young man with a long life before him. If the NFL offers only consequence without help for a troubled human being they should only feel shame. This man needs help to understand it is not right to beat a child, with switch or hand or paddle. He needs guidance to figure out bringing children into this world through several mothers while daddy goes his merry-screwing-way is unconscionable.  The NFL, all other sports organizations—pro and amateur—indeed, all humanity must take off the kid gloves to both deliver consequence and helpful teaching. I’ll be fine if Peterson is reinstated, but only if the guidance is provided that he may grow into the good man he’s shown to be on the football field.

After all, Peterson learned an unacceptable behavior from his father. It must not continue. The children of America are watching. What will we teach the next generation?

“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”—Jesus, Mark 10:14

Trick or Tweens…

Posted: October 30, 2012 in Kids

Walking the line with bothfeet in the worlds of faith and life means making some hard decisions. Preparation for the really tough world decisions starts with the smaller ones; which are still very important. Let me offer an example.
My church offers confirmation instruction on a weekly basis for 7-10th grades. We meet on Wednesday evenings, as this still works as one of the very few weekly moments not deeply affected by the monstrous schedules our young people keep. Well, guess what? Halloween falls on Wednesday this year. Hence, we had to make a decision whether to keep our weekly schedule or cancel. The question for me is, what message does this send both to our young people and their parents?
If we cancel, we succumb to a cultural craziness for a holiday, (which isn’t even a holiday, just a day we have some fun). If we keep our schedule there’s pushback that we’re insensitive, out of touch, that sort of thing. Not a great situation.
Here’s what we decided: We’ll keep our schedule but have our youth out in the community doing service projects from 6:30-8pm. The overall sense is that kids these ages aren’t of the trick-or-treating years. If they do have a party, they could certainly go after some service to our community. If some of the younger ones are still in the trick-or-treat mode, great! Have fun! After all, I’d be the first to be there, too.
Thankfully, the issue only arises every 6-7 years. No easy decisions, here. What parent wants to make that call when their daughter or son grumbles about confirmation on Halloween? These are the tough pieces if we live with bothfeet, especially in the realm of faith and life. Again, the real struggle for me is wondering what kind of message we send to our kids. Our decisions matter.
When the big decisions and issues come our way, we hope our smaller decisions prepared us for such events. So, I’ll live with bothfeet. I just hope they’re not tied to a cement block.