Friday, January 16, 2015

Which Authority Do You Follow?

Some weeks ago I overheard and was invited into a debate raging between two young cousins (not my own).  The argument was one of which authority a person ought to follow.  One cousin, who I know was raised by very excellent parents, staunchly held the idea that you obey your superiors and particularly your parents.  The other brought up the point that the parents might be mistaken or acting by their own personal weaknesses.  The first cousin's attitude melted my lips into a smile, for he clearly believed his parents had no shortcomings.  I will most definitely let him hold that heartwarming opinion.  

I declined jumping into the conversation but the topic is one that has preyed on my mind most of my life.  The solution proves a remarkably simple one.  If there is a conflict between two authorities, always follow the higher one.  One might immediately assume that the highest authority, especially for a young child, ought to be the parent.  I agree, with one tiny little wrench thrown in.  Which parent?  We each have our earthly parents and also our Heavenly Father.  Which authority ought we follow?  The higher One.  I have had many experiences in which parents, professors, and other powers that be have tried to lead or push me into doing things that I felt was not what God wanted me to do.  I have sometimes had to go behind the earthly authority's back in order to satisfy my conscience before God, which choices, though painful, have never brought me regret and often have led to overwhelming miracles.

The fact is that while our parents love us, there is One who loves us more.  I often bear in mind in raising my children that though I may often think I know best, God knows and loves them far more than I possibly can and I frequently pray about how to handle situations with my children.  Recently I have dealt with my son's inability to sleep due to a great deal of stress in his life.  At first I thought I would make sure his lights were out and his audiobooks turned off by bedtime, especially on school nights, because when life is crazy and stressful, a child often needs structure and discipline to help them through it.  To my dismay and exhaustion, the Lord did not agree and impressed me to let him continually listen to his favorite books series until 11pm every night.  Rethinking the situation, perhaps in this particular case, Josh needed a strong distraction in order to handle his present frustration and required wholesome entertainment until he was too exhausted to think or reflect.  Whatever the case, he has been a night owl of late but probably doing better generally than he would have had I failed to petition the Lord. 

I have always instinctively known that we are first and foremost children of God, eternal beings with endless potential and born with our own divinely given spark of inner fire.  There is a part of your soul that your earthly parents didn't put there.  They couldn't have.  They may want what is best for you but they cannot always see your mission in this world, the upcoming trials of your life and they may not be able to see with perfect clarity who you were truly meant to be. Your Heavenly Father put that passionate, eternal spirit into you, so when there is a conflict of opinion, always follow the One who knows and loves you best!

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