My husband and I have just returned from a two day conference called, “Creating a Better Future.” We attended this conference thinking of our son Davy as our principal focus. What did a better future for a child with Down syndrome look like? We came home with much to think about.
But, in spite of all the wealth of information and inspirational stories my brain stored away over the weekend, the thought which seems to resonate the most with me at the moment is a very simple one. The idea of children with disabilities being a burden was mentioned and rejected strongly a number of times and finally someone asked the question, “How do you reject the idea of your child being a burden, but still acknowledge that having a child with disability is actually really hard work at times?” I found the answer that came back to be very profound and to apply to areas of life far beyond the scope of disabilities.
“Many things are hard work. Hard work only becomes a burden when you don’t want to do it.”
Wow! I thought of Sir Edmund Hillary’s climb to the top of Mount Everest. I thought of those athletes I had watched win gold medals, or even just compete in the Olympic Games. I thought of my own way of escape when on exchange in Japan. I would take a few hours to do my Correspondence School Math paper. (I know, strange person, can’t explain, it’s just the way God made me!) I don’t think any of these people felt the work involved was a burden. We wanted to do it!
How true that is of so many of our tasks as parents. The same activities and actions that seem nothing at all one day, are just plain burdensome on another. It is not the actions which change, but whether we want to be doing them.
If I’m honest, I sometimes see Davy as a burden. Sometimes the hard work becomes work I just don’t want to be doing today. Often my response is to go to the Lord and ask Him to take away some of the problems. I tell God, “I just can’t do it anymore, I don’t want to do this anymore. Please help me find a solution.” Although this usually doesn’t last long, I am challenged now. What would happen if I prayed, “Lord, help me WANT to serve my child today. Give me such a delight in the tasks I am doing that although it is hard work, it is no longer a burden.” Hmm, I don’t know what the results will be but I’m going to give it a go.