As a parent, I have a ton of things that I want to teach my children. I want to give them the skills and values that I believe will help them grow into healthy, well-adjusted members of society. Resilience is one of those skills.
I grew up in a military family, so this was one of the skills that my parents gave to me. Those difficult cross-country moves as a child, and forging new ties in new cities, have made me adept at handling new situations on the fly. The nature of life is change, and being able to handle those changes nimbly without becoming paralyzed by fear is a great life skill to have in your toolset.
There is, however, one area where my resilience is lacking. I’m slavish when it comes to productivity. I have a rough sketch of my day and want things to go exactly according to plan. When I mess up my plan in some small way, I get knocked completely off-track.
I’m a morning person. My goal is to get up at 5am, and be done working out and showering before the kids are up at 7:30am. Most days I’m successful, and a few others, I’m not.
The frustrating thing is that I automatically declare the day a failure if I sleep in until 6:30am or 7:00am. Sure, it’s harder for me to get my workouts in if I miss my designated workout time, but how can the day be a failure when it has only just begun?
Being flexible enough to reorganize my schedule on the fly is something that I need to work on. Oversleeping isn’t great, but it can be managed by rearranging my schedule. I can workout with my kids by going for a walk, or sneaking off to the gym once they’re tucked into bed.
The same can be said about the spiritual life. How many times have you resolved to quit a particular sin, only to fall back into it? Any failure can be managed, and its an opportunity to grow in humility. Instead of continuing to give in to sin simply because the flood walls have been breached, start anew.
Resilience is a crucial life skill to have. Master the art first, and then give it as a gift to your children.