The heart of a father

“My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands;” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1‬

And after all…

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Was reflecting my first 10 years in my new homeland Sweden. Besides the fact that the language is still a bit of a struggle for me and the culture in many ways can be quite a struggle or better said a confrontation, it has been some amazing and challenging years.

Coming from a nation of communication, meeting and greeting, I had to except that other nations have other habits and qualities. Digging in the dirt of what confronted me, I found some amazing qualities of the people of this nation. Qualities that I began to like to the level of adapting and excepting. I love the people in many ways that learn to deal with seasons of extreme cold, darkness and lack of the fruits of the field. I understand the still strong effort to prepare the wood in spring and summer in order to be warm in the winter. The restless walk to the woods to find the vitamins for the dark season, the berries, lingon and kantarell that are abundantly available in the secret spots of the forest that no one will (understandably) share with you.

I also, with hard lessons, began to understand the hesitation of connections as over the summer everyone leave for their summerhouse and in the winters they disappear behind their front door. Yes, I can truly say it’s a nation that can be defined as high on the list of individualism.

To be honest, I understand that it has its pros, but being a person that lives from connections working in the moments of conversation and connecting the beauty of words to the result of a plan, a strategy, a process of building. Without it, to my sadness, I have to say that it leads to loneliness and unproductive efforts.

It’s there where I’ve started again to appreciate the working with the “dead” materials, the wood and bricks that willingly, without complaining let themselves be used for the bigger purpose. The wood that even encourage me to use the saw and cut it into the fitting pieces.

Anyway, the not so pleasant side effect of the written above is the fact that people meet with agendas, especially your Christian brothers and sisters who somehow understand my confrontations with the land and the culture but at the end refuse to understand that they are more Swedish than they want to admit.

…but at the end refuse to understand that they are more Swedish than they want to admit.

And after all…

Yes, that’s where the header comes in, because after all the many beautiful years of recognizing, connecting, sharing, the hardest part became the relational part, the connecting because of me, of people, of the interesting part of the individual.

Living in an individual defined nation, where for at least two generations of education they were fueled with this individualistic mindset. The way a socialistic ideology is penetrating the culture, the relevant or better said significance of a person is totally subdued to the higher goal. It’s reflected in the way we are families, the way we do church.

Reflecting the past 10 years mainly gives me the need to even review my expectations and conclusion of the why God brought me to the amazing land.

I understand, from within now, the expectations people had, meeting the vibrancy of our family, meeting the abundance of vision and passion and in the same time the disappointment they communicated many times these past few years in the outcome of it all.

Many left the system without understanding that they were totally wired by it in their inner process. Leaving Egypt is one thing as I can say from my own experience but let go of the Egypt within you is quite another struggle.

And after all…

As for some years now the Lord began to reveal the beauty of what we are, of who we are as a family, as a person connected to a generational orientated lifestyle , I realized that sometimes you cannot do the nation, the people without doing the 12, the close by, the ones that are there already, bound together by blood, by love, by the covenant of two, leading to the offspring of many.

It’s hard to change when we refuse to start over, to take the blank page and take the challenge to write a new, undivided history.

Back to the building, as a builder for many years I understood the essential construction that can not be changed but refused to be limited by the not essential walls we build that can be easily removed.

Over the years, too many irrelevant walls has distracted us in the process of change. We fooled around in the limited rooms by defining change as using paint and wallpaper.

In closing now, if there is one thing I fully regret and wish to apologize for is the lack of understanding and living vision with the sad effect of disappointing. On the other hand, I except the fact that even I, even we, needed to walk this unexpected process of being send without feeling fully qualified.

So, after all the years, the wonderful result of reviewing is my willingness to unconditionally put my efforts in…

Relationship, covenant, communication.

Author: Rob van't Wout

Dutch by birth, Sweden by choice, Kingdom by grace

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