Effective arrows must be formed and crafted.
They must be straight so they fly true.
They must be sharp so they penetrate and achieve a desired effect.
They must have fletchings (the feathers on traditional arrows) to help stabilize flight.
But, to do their job, they must be released…
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Psalm 127:4
We still have two kids at home. They’ll start school again next week. Tuesday will be another release day. It’s not their first day of school ever but it is another opportunity to release them. They will have new teachers, new classes, new schedules, new friends, new opportunities and new challenges. Stacy and I will pray for them, cheer for them, console them, correct them and counsel them as they navigate. They aren’t on their own yet, but they are becoming more independent.
We must keep releasing them. Just like archer warriors, we practice release form and process in various situations.
Some releases are tougher than others. Here are some release points we’ve experienced…
- Leaving a child in the nursery at church for the first time.
- Going out on a date and leaving the kids with a sitter.
- Letting Ben walk next door to the neighbor’s house alone.
- Letting Hannah spend the night with her cousins… or a friend.
- Letting Tim ride his bike to a friend’s house.
- Letting the boys use a chop saw or circular saw.
- Letting the boys jump their bikes over ramps they built in the driveway.
- Sending them off to summer camp for 2 weeks.
- Letting them cook a meal.
- Letting them cut the grass. (There’s a reason it looked like elementary school kids cut our grass.)
- Leaving them at home by themselves for the first time.
- Waving to them as they leave the driveway on their first solo driving trip.
- Leaving Tim and Zach at college. (We left them both in military environments where they would be miserable for a while…)
- Letting Ben fly to Nepal on a mission trip… alone.
There are many other release points that we haven’t yet experienced, but Stacy and I continue to embrace the risk and joy of releasing the arrows that God has entrusted to us.
We remind ourselves and each other that they don’t belong to us. They have been loaned to us for a season of preparation.