Hope you are having a wonderful week. Three days till Christmas — I cannot believe it! Did you know that George Washington crossed the Delaware on Christmas in 1776? I’m sure you can probably call up the painting in your mind’s eye. It sounded like a brutal endeavor, didn’t it? And the solemn-faced Washington commanding the troops continues to convey to the masses that the crossing was no small feat.
I once referenced the crossing of the Delaware in a tirade with my two older sons. I am not terribly prone to lecture my boys. I generally have a high tolerance for noise and nonsense, and am often amused when maybe I shouldn’t be, but even I have limits. I will throw down a full-on lecture if I have to. A number of years ago Dub and Nate were playing flag football in Falls Church, Virginia. It was an unseasonably cold day in October and wonder of wonders, it snowed. It was the only time in my almost twenty years of living in the DC area that it snowed in October. It hardly even snows in December, much less October. But it did. And you would’ve thought the one hour game was going to wipe out life as we know it. The complaining and bellyaching started to get on my very last nerve and before I knew what happened, my head popped off completely and I was giving a semi-deranged but very impassioned speech about “surely if Washington could cross the Delaware you can finish this game!” I don’t remember their reaction. But I’m pretty sure there was less complaining, and Will and I have had many good laughs about the incident.
But seriously, do you ever worry that we are raising a generation of softies? My boys work very hard in school, about a hundred times harder than I ever thought of working. They work hard in sports, and I did have them do some manual labor just today. But still, neither Dub nor Nate, nor their generation in general, appear to be prepared to cross the Delaware on Christmas for even the best and most just of causes. God gives us grace when we need it, and not before, and this applies to whatever kind of challenges come our way, but I still want my boys to know the satisfaction of working hard, of going to bed exhausted physically, and yet content with the work accomplished.
Proverbs says, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” (6:10).