I'm teaching a lesson in Sunday School this morning about Noah's Ark, a story many of us have heard since we were children — people were wicked, the earth would flood, God told Noah to build an ark, only Noah's family and the animals listened, everyone else drowned.
My unfiltered response even now is “This is ridiculous. I would have listened to Noah. I would have even helped build the ark. Of course I would have.”
It's a pretty easy say when we are children. Or new parents. We haven't made any mistakes yet. There were so many things I was going to do. One of my most memorable flourishes of braggadocio was “I am going to teach my children to recognize sounds, like most parents teach their children to recognize colors.” I was also going to have Family Home Evening, a weekly game night, but with spiritual underpinnings, every week. Sometimes we have. Recently, not so much. Perhaps that's why parents with children over the age of ten tend not to read parenting books. There is so much we were going to do and haven't.
The question I am seriously grappling with — is it too late to do well what I had hoped to do?
I am a big proponent of psychologist Carol Dweck's Mindset. She writes, “It isn’t just our abilities and talent that bring our success — but whether we approach our goals with a fixed or growth mindset.” I will tell you I believe this, but as I analyze my thought process, I don't quite. I don't quite believe that I can change, adapt and grow.
What then do we do when Noah's already started to build the ark? Maybe we haven't scoffed at him, but we didn't really help either.
And he still invites us to come two by two.
Do we walk away, embarrassed that we haven't done
Or do we awkwardly lope aboard?
After all, alive is alive.
We'll start Family Home Evening tomorrow night.
What do you want to start but you think it's too late? Paraphrasing George Eliot, “It's never too late to be what you might have been.”
P.S. These Sunday School lessons I teach require a lot of soul-searching, and I could use your help, your comments and suggestions. If you'd ever be willing to come, I would love to have you.