The happy person is one who does not follow wicked counsel; or linger on the road to ruin; or sit among the hecklers’ seats. On the contrary, with Yahweh’s torah lies his true joy, mulling over His torah by day and night. The one who so delights and muses on Yahweh’s torah will be like a tree transplanted alongside the creek bed. Like a tree which gives its fruit in season. Its foliage does not wither. Everything this tree makes causes thriving. (Psalm 1:1-3).
Consider that the fruit of the tree sustains humans, animals, and insects. So the fruit of our attention to the reality of our life and the holiness of our journey creates the environment for those around us to thrive. So what does it mean to cause thriving? What do you consider characteristics of a family who is thriving? And why do you define thriving in this way?
When looking at the example of real trees, giant sequoias specifically, it takes a fire from time to time for these national treasures to thrive. But early in the management of the sequoia forests, fire was actively avoided. By protecting these trees from the crisis of fire, the forest rangers inadvertently prevented the sequoias from the experience that was essential to their growth.
Is it possible that we do something similar in our families? Do we try to maintain control at all costs and inadvertently prevent our children from experiences that are essential to their growth? Maybe there’s more to learn from failure than just what to avoid next time. Maybe living through failure actually teaches us that we can live through failure. Maybe living through failure forces us to evaluate what’s really important to us. Maybe living through failure leads to the development of grit and resilience and other characteristics that turn out to be essential for a life that is thriving. Could it be that a little crisis every once in a while could actually lead to thriving? Think about your own life. How did you learn your valuable lessons? What sort of experiences do your children need to be having so that they learn their valuable lessons?