Recently we went camping, setting up our temporary digs in an RV park near a large city. Our next door neighbor was an elderly man, staying for six weeks so that he could take advantage of the excellent medical facilities nearby. Several weeks into his stay, I asked him how he was recovering from cataract surgery.
“I can see as if I were twenty years old again!” He replied. “With my new eyes, new teeth, and new hearing aids, I feel like Mr. Potato Head.”
Being made new on the outside is certainly cause for rejoicing. But being made new on the inside is even more freeing.
You know that fleeting feeling of newness that comes when you have done something well? The confidence that comes from seeing that you are becoming the best version of yourself ? You 2.0?
The question is, are we teaching our children to feel like Mr. Potato Head, too? Are we allowing them, on the inside, to replace malfunctioning parts with new ones? Replace mistakes with new opportunities for success? Replace bad memories with good ones?
When a child does something wrong, it is important that we let him know that he can be made new again. That he can receive new eyes, seeing himself successful and well-loved. New ears where he can hear good words about how he is valued and capable. New joy that comes from doing something well.
Let us remember today to give ourselves – and our children – new inward parts, new confidence, and new opportunities for success.