As I start writing a new piece I imagine what it'll look like on the shelf of a bookstore. What it will sound like sliding off the shelf? What a reader will see when looking at the cover or casually flipping through its pages? Suppose that those types of thoughts get a little ahead of myself, but I would argue that the entire lifetime of a book should is as important as the first words on the page. It might be distracting to see where a book is headed much in the same way a parent dreams about what their children will be like in five, ten, or twenty years from their birth. The future of everything we do is always as important as the beginning.
A novel is like a child. It starts as an idea and eventually over the course of time grows into a fully formed work as a child grows into an adult. How a chapter is written guides how the story will end? Each decision we make for our children will guide them down different paths in life towards adulthood.
My first child is due in January and I'm beside myself as my wife and I look through clothes, furniture, car seats, strollers, diapers, and all sorts of other baby paraphernalia. We spend time planning, plotting a course that our little girl won't even understand until she's an adult. Why do we do it? We want the best for our children so we fight and scrape to make sure that they have a fulfilled life. A prayer that I have often is for my little girl to have a loving, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, because despite all the other things that I will give her in life that is by far the most important relationship that she will ever have. That one relationship will inform her decisions about life, love, marriage, and how she will treat others.
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
With any relationship the first examples we have as a child are our parents. How our parents display love, faith, and so on determine how we will eventually display them? If we as parents don't show our children the direction then how can we expect our children to follow a path that they don't see lived out. It's more of the "practice what you preach" mentality and one that I know I fail at myself daily. So despite all my prayers for my little girl, I know that it is up to my wife and I to be constantly praying for each other and living the life that we want for our daughter. I'm chocking back the tears as I write this as I know that there will be a slippery and dangerous road ahead, because the closer I get to God the more the enemy will try to trip up each step that I take.