Have you ever had one of those “money where your mouth is” moments? You know the kind where all of that stuff you talk about meets a moment when you have to back it up? What if said moment means you might be embarrassed or look foolish? That happened this weekend.
Without going into specific details, I had agreed to host a party for an upcoming summer blockbuster film. I received a large box of goodies for the party including a cartoon DVD and hardbound comic books for all of the kids. We invited “the boys” 10 year old baseball team over in the event that their scrimmage was rained out. We thought it would be a good team bonding time and was a chance to give away all of this loot we were sent.
On Friday night “the boy” and I sat down to preview the cartoon since it was rated PG-13. Within the first 10 minutes, there was a reference to the Lords name and a cuss word. Overall, the cartoon was dark and, in my opinion, not appropriate for 10 year olds. We turned it off and I opened one of the comic books to give it a look-see. Within the first few pages was yet another cuss word. I also found demonic images and a reference to “Section 666”.
It was decision time….
How I choose to raise my children is one thing. Telling other parents how they should raise theirs is another. In less than 24 hours, I would have a house full of 10 year old children expecting a party of a certain theme. Problem was, I didn’t feel comfortable with the message in 2 of the items which were sent. The other random toys were fine as they were just toys. So what do I do?
Do I call these parents and cancel the party?
Do I contact the person that sent me the party stuff and send it all back?
Do I go ahead and just let it play out and not concern myself with what the other parents or children will think of what I think was not appropriate?
At the end of the day, the quote I so often use and have as my “about” on twitter came rushing back to me:
You can say what you think, but you will live what you believe – Mark Hall
It was time to live what I believe. I emailed my contact and explained my concern. I offered to send the entire package back and host the party less all of the stuff. She quickly responded and said to keep and distribute the toys but not anything I wasn’t comfortable with. She also offered to pay for shipping the items back if I so desired. Very kind, very appropriate.
The lesson in this long story (and post) is that we are called to stick to our principles. In reflecting on this moment, I can’t begin to explain how uncomfortable I was. I feared embarrassing myself to the other parents who may not think what concerns me are a big deal in their home. Yet what I found on Saturday at the scrimmage (we didn’t have the party because it never rained), I explained to a few of the parents that I wouldn’t be using some things and why, I received their full support. God can use moments, challenges and decisions to open doors, create conversations and moments where His light will shine. I’m embarrassed to say that my failures and lack of faith almost got in the way of that.
It’s “city on a hill” moments.
It’s “salt and light” situations.
It’s worth living what you believe….