My daughter phoned me a couple of years ago and said, “Dad, I bought a boat.”

Awkward silence.

I didn’t know what to say. She had just been married, her husband was in his last year of university, they were poor as church mice and she was halfway through her nursing degree…and she bought a boat?

Doing What?

“Listen, Dad, I can start a business and I’ll use the boat. I will earn the money to pay for the boat in my first month of work.”

More awkward silence.

Practical dad finally responded, “Wow, that’s an interesting idea.” We talked some more and then hung up.

So, how did it go with the boat? Practical dad was way wrong. She paid for the boat in the first month of running her business, and went on to make tens of thousands of dollars with her company. She called it “Island Keeping” and she went all through the Gulf Islands around Sidney and cleaned houses. She had a complete corner on the market, she could charge just about anything she wanted and after just a few weeks had more clients than she could manage. She eventually hired several other girls to clean with her and her business took off.

I really need to have more faith in my kids’ crazy ideas.

Going where?

My oldest daughter was diagnosed with MS when she was in her second year of nursing. She was unbelievably determined and graduated on time with her class. Then she said, “Dad, I’m driving 800 km north by myself and I’m going to nurse in Fort Nelson for a year.”

That seemed like a crazy idea.

But she thrived there. She took incredible pictures of the northern lights, her favourite thing. In the end, she packed up all her stuff in a trailer, built a bed for the back of her 4Runner, learned how to back up a trailer, and drove down to Abbotsford to start her ER Specialty training.

Not so crazy after all.

Building what?

My son came home from work one day last year and said, “I’m quitting my job. I’m moving up the Sunshine Coast and I’m going to build a 12,000 square foot log cabin for a lawyer from San Diego.” I learned my lesson from my daughter and I tentatively responded, “Awesome! That sounds like a great opportunity!”

And it was.

They love him. They keep thinking he’s 28 (he’s actually 21) and giving him more and more responsibility. He could never have learned all that he has learned by staying in Abbotsford.

I really need to have more faith in my kids’ crazy ideas.

Last spring my daughter phoned us from Vancouver Island and said, “Dad, I’m buying a puppy. I’ve always wanted one. I’m going to do it and I’ll train that puppy and it will be awesome. Slowly, I’m learning that maybe I should be patient with what seems to me like a crazy idea.

Turns out the dog is amazing. Her name is Skeena, (named after the river in Northern BC) and sure enough, she has taught that dog more in 6 weeks than we taught our dog in 14 years. Everybody loves that dog. She brings incredible joy wherever she goes.

Go Try It!

So, what’s my point? Well, we get crazy ideas from students at school too. We need teachers who have the patience to think, “I wonder if that would work, it sounds like a crazy idea, but I wonder…” and then they get down to helping students find ways to accomplish crazy ideas.

A long time ago, we made an all-school video where in “one take” we walked the entire school and filmed every student in a choreographed lip sync. Casey was in grade 9 and my first thought was, “This is crazy,” and my second thought was, “Go try it!” The video turned out to be spectacular and Casey ended up on Global TV. Today, he runs his own film production studio in Abbotsford (see our new PBL video —he made that).

And that’s just one story.

We have students who have raised money for refugee camps, done science projects to determine if there is lead in the water in Vancouver Island communities, spent a year learning architecture for the “Idea Team,” built race cars for the auto club and written music for the Governor General’s visit to ACS.

So, as we gear up for the “Shaping God’s World Fund” in 2019, we pray our students will come up with some crazy ideas. And pray we have the patience to say, “I wonder…”