Did you ever try to hide a light beam? Doesn't work very well. You usually have to turn it off at the source. Light has to be stopped at the source because its so powerful that hiding it, covering it up, and even reflecting it doesn't put it out. This is what we are to be....a light to show the way. Sometimes reflecting it is painful for the other person as they were not aware of the immediate impact they receive as a result of the brightness and instant beam of it.
They say that the cockroaches scatter when the light is turned on. I recently had to be the light that scattered a cockroach. I hope that in the future our young host son will realize the error of his ways of telling his host parents...particularly his host mother what he was and was not going to do when staying in our house. With the graciousness a family across the globe extends to a child of opening their home, it is with great shock and insult that I heard these words. There was total lack of gratitude and respect that I heard a young man say he felt he was better because he didn't think he should have to mop the floor or clean the garage. He was in reality no better or no worse than the other kids that came through our home. He also is the youngest. He told us, that mopping the floor was "beneath him" and if he didn't like something, he could just change it. It was also with great patience during two hours of trying to explain to him why he would do his chores because these are the rules we have in our house and if he lives in our house he would follow them. He eats our food, he enjoys our trips to places that most American children have not been to in their entire lifetime or will EVER get to experience in their entire lifetime. Yet he doesn't feel he has to do his chores. He feels that it is "too much" for him to do a chore that takes one hour a week, [this week the chore was shared with his host brother so it was with help that he received and it still was beneath him]. My light was dimming.
He is at the air show today, an event which I have never experienced in my forty-seven years of life. Why? Because he cleaned the garage at 10 PM last night because the rule still is the rule that if the weekly chore is not done by noon on Saturday, the weekend trips are not taken. I do believe it is was with the help of his seventeen year old host brother that thought of this plan and execute it. It was my other host son who is carrying the beacon of light in my moment of darkness...my light has been extinguished after a fifteen year old has pulled the plug from my heart socket.
"A light that doesn't shine has lost its usefulness. Jesus said that no one hides a light under a basket but puts it on a lamp stand to illuminate everything around it." (Matt. 5:15) Since it takes the light seven seconds to travel from the sun to the earth, I need seven seconds to reflect the light of Christ that is recharging in my heart. I need time...I pray that our host son will learn to appreciate the trips to La Nouba, the NFL, the Sand Castles, the Air Show, the Football Games, the Beach, the Bicycle Trail, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Blue Man Group, an American Baseball Game. (in only the two months he lived with us) and reflect with humility that he was wrong for biting the hand that feeds him. Perhaps he bit off more than he could chew. Either way there is a lesson here about biting.
FYI - STS (Our Hosting Service) screens the host families. The students sign a form that they will do chores and told of this when they come. There are families that try to take advantage of these kids, we are not one of them. Our family motto is, (from Denzel Washington) Do what you HAVE to do so we can do what we WANT to do. Nobody in the family changes the family or the family rules by refusing to do what they have to do. This shows they never wanted to BE a part of the family in the first place. When asked if he wanted all of the benefits of the family without doing the work of the family, his response was yes.
I heard my mother speaking through me as I have heard this phrase many times from being on the recipient end..."I am the parent and you are the child." And a parent's duty is to show the error of the child's ways. Sometimes the lessons are harder to learn depending on the stubbornness of the child. I will pray that his next host mother will be another beacon of light and that he will not unplug her light too. Recharging takes a long time.