Middle school has to be one of the most difficult seasons of life! Acne on faces, hair all over the place, growing pains, learning to write love letters, and working hard for good grades; for most people, there is no more confusing, frustrating, or awkward time in life. Especially when it comes to finding a balance between family and friends. I didn’t have many friends before middle school, and by the time I started making them, I suddenly had too many (okay, it wasn’t that many, but when you’re used to being alone, the last thing you want is never to be left alone). All of those friends weren’t content just hanging out at school, a lot of my weekends were spent playing tag, truth or dare, or hide and seek. Shooting water guns, playing basketball, swimming, or playing two-hand touch football in the street. Those were the easy times though, all I had to do was run it by either my mom or dad and I was free until the street lights came on. If I wasn’t going to be on my street or the next one over, things got difficult.
You see, I come from a family that is content to take their time with everything. We were late for school nearly everyday, and we always got to church at the last possible second. We wouldn’t get to graduations, funerals, or anything that required us to drive a long distance until literally an hour or so after the fact. (I suppose that’s why I’m rarely anxious about time) This translates into everything though, we never ate breakfast earlier than 10 or 11 on weekends, and whenever I would ask to go anywhere, I might have to wait a few hours for a response. I was totally used to it, but it would piss my friends off, so I’d fall to peer pressure and ask again. BAD IDEA. My parents, and my dad especially, do not like being asked more than once. So after learning the hard way a few times and earning myself a few “No’s”, I learned to ask once and just wait, no matter how long it took. Even if it meant that I had to miss whatever was happening, I did so sourly, but silently. I still do the same thing today, no I don’t have to ask my parents before I go out (I don’t even live with them), but whenever I find myself praying for something, I make sure not to pray for it too often.
I’ve said it before: the way we perceive our parents heavily impacts the way we perceive God. This goes for both good and bad characteristics. Ever notice that people who had one or both parents leave them have a difficult time believing that God won’t leave them? Or how people who have strict parents see God as solely a law enforcer or judge without any love for us. On the contrary, people with wise, loving, forgiving, and protecting parents (like mine) find it relatively easy to accept God being similar. My parents aren’t perfect however, and even as I learn to appreciate them more and more, some of their flaws are coming out too.
They have contributed to my flawed belief that God doesn’t want me to annoy Him with my petty requests.
I don’t pray all that often to tell the truth, well, perhaps I should say that I don’t ask for things often. I praise Him pretty constantly and whenever I’m reminded, I pray for the people around me, but I don’t ask for things for myself very frequently, if it seems out of my hands, I’ll throw a request up, but otherwise, I kind of figure that God wants me to figure it out without bothering Him.
What kind of parents do you have? How have their qualities affected your view of God?