Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Being Watched

"Stay out of life!"
"You don't have the right to snoop around my life."
"Get off my back - its my life."
Because we live in a society whose highest value is individualism we are always going to come to the flash point of Child's rights/Parent's responsibility. I remember as a young teen on a foreign mission station being concerned that certain of my things were hidden from the "prying" eyes of my mother. I did not re-think this closely held truth (my stuff, my life, stay out) until hearing the testimony of an 18 year old drug addict who stood up in church (I was attending because my good friend was the Pastor and I was passing through)affirm during testimony time, "I praise God that He wont stop bugging me."
I had not yet experienced the joy and fear of parenthood. I was still pretty sure my life was my own to live as I chose and any benefit to others was purely tertiary. I was struck by the reality of God's invasive nature - and - how badly I needed Him to be that way. I wondered how my life would have turned out had my father not "caught" me sneaking out for a first beer. I remembered how fortunate I was that my dad's elder sister demanded I call every hour from a party my hooligan friend was having "at his house" - er - older friend's drinking hole in Chicago - which effectively grounded me saving me from the police raid that night.
While the transformation was not complete that day it was begun. I prayed that I would desire invasion into my life by Him and those He appointed as watchmen and watchwomen over my life and ministry. Like that young man almost 50 years ago I too praise God for His meddling in my private life. While not always pleasant it has always been beneficial. If I had not opened my life to God's invasion I would never have opened all my drawers, files, cupboards, wallets, cases, file cabinets, internet history, voice mail, texts and email to my wife - which secrecy - even if benign - would have built a wall love could not scale.
Now when I hear young people complain that their parents invade their privacy and want them to stop I wonder if they realize they are asking for less and not more individual power.

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