I spent today working on a video for our Father’s Day service.
Tom, our youth pastor, spent last Sunday interviewing the kids in our church about what they loved about their fathers. It was so much fun to work with all the short clips, assembling them into a meaningful whole. The quotes were wonderful; some were priceless. Like, “My daddy is special because… because… when I… because at school I made an animal rock.”
Lately I’ve been reading Tim Kimmel’s book, “Preparing your kids for true Greatness.” It’s amazing so far. He contrasts the world’s definition of success (high paying job, nice house, attractive family) with God’s definition of true greatness (living to serve others and leave an eternal legacy). The one line that hit me the most was a comment on 9/11. He said that while the successful people ran down the stairs for their lives, the truly great people ran up the stairs to give their lives. He said we worship the successful, but during tragedies, we perish without the truly great.
It made me think: That if I had raised a truly great kid who worked in the twin towers, I just may well have lost him or her that day because they would have been most concerned with helping others. They would have run up the stairs, not down. We discussed that scenario at Bible Study tonight: If you had to choose whether you’d raise a shallow, self-absorbed child who lived till they were 96 — or a selfless, truly great person who left a legacy but was dead by age 30, which would you choose?
I can’t imagine losing a child. I can’t. But a selfish, shallow child is a kind of loss too. I’d choose the 30 year old, hands down.
Tomorrow I’ll reflect on this greatness thing some more.