Children [like dandelions] can drive their parents to despair. We have visions of them sitting in the livingroom after their daily four hour shift at Blockbuster, playing video games and eating Captain Crunch out of the box, well into their 30s. And then one day we notice that for the past while, they seem to have been showering and brushing their teeth more regularly. You catch glimpses of the possibiility that they have been dating on the sly. Though they wouldn’t be caught dead admitting it to you. You find their scriptures open on their bed and you realize that yes, things are happening. Progress is being made. It’s incremental progress andthere are miles to go, but one day that whole yard is going to be free of dandelions, metaphorically speaking. The hour hand really is moving on.
Exercise #23: Recognizing Incremental Progress
Think of an ineffective behaviour that you [or any one of your children] used to engage in that you don’t any more. When did you change? Was your transformation sudden or more incremental in nature? How might you make little changes, that would add up to big progress in some area of your life?
So the first thing that popped into my head was smoking. I got into the habit in the Army because it was one of the few ways to get free time in basic training. I got out of it because I was dating a man seriously against smoking. It still took time. The next thought that came to mind was going to church. This was one of those things where I went because I grew up believing it was where I belonged. We were not a church going family, this was just something I knew inside. So, I went. Then once I became an adult and started going regularly I realized there were people there I had to deal with. Not always my strong suit — dealing with people. (Sadly I have to take a portion of the blame for my oldest child’s attitude in dealing with stupid people.) So anyway, once I latched onto the idea that I wasn’t going to church for anyone but me and anything else was ancillary, it got easier. I could show up and deal with people being people and not blame the church as a whole and not use it as an excuse to bail the next Sunday. This has taken me about 20 years to work out. So, yeah, I’m all about this dandelion concept!