Friday, February 6, 2009

What Shall We Give Our Children?

Mike, I and the boys have been reading and discussing Leap Over a Wall by Eugene H. Peterson. The book chronicles and ponders the various aspects of David’s life. Interestingly there is a chapter entitled Imagination: David and Goliath. This chapter is all about the power of stories. Of course, this chapter grabbed my attention, because I know stories influence and change people’s lives, not to mention the generations that follow. And so it is with the story of David and Goliath.

Many of us, whether churched or unchurched, know the details of this empowering story. David, a small shepherd boy, collects five smooth stones, tucks them in his pouch and sets out to face the giant Philistine. An enormous feat which takes God-sized courage. David looks in the face of the giant, the adversary, and with a slingshot, claims the victory.

As we grow, this story grows with us. We realize as years and accompanying experiences move us through life how powerful this story really is. It is not just this story which impacts our lives, but all stories, the good and the not-so-good. “Stories don’t stay put; they grow and deepen.”1

One of the greatest gifts I give my children is a heart and mind full of stories, stories which were read, told or listened to. Stories from the Bible, stories from yesteryear, stories from my childhood, stories of the present and stories of the future; all will allow my children to discover, to explore, to ponder, to work out the relationship of good and evil, love and hate. The stories I give to them shape their being and help form in them a “God-dominated imagination”.2

I cannot underestimate the power of stories in the lives of my children. They, like me, will reference the stories when they need courage and hope, faith and encouragement. I must decide which stories I will present to them to open, to read or to listen to.

All quotations from the reference below.
Reference: Leap Over a Wall, Eugene H. Peterson, 1997

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