Making It Personal
Allow your teen to see how you strive to grow so they can understand how to confront their own limitations and pursue character and faith.
By Tim Walker
I’m not the most coordinated person in the world. I can trip over my own two feet just as easily as I can trip over an object in my path. There’s a good reason for it. I have “athletically challenged syndrome.” It’s a real disease. Okay, maybe not yet. But if we can get enough people to petition without injuring themselves with pencils, paper cuts, etc., we’ll get organized.
So, needless to say, I know a thing or two about collision.
I’m the guy who stood in right field, praying the ball wouldn’t collide with my head.
I’m the guy who jumped off the bus at a band competition, thinking I could re-enact the 1980s “Oh What a Feeling”/Toyota commercial jump only to come crashing on the pavement, bloodying my knee and tearing my pants.
I’m the guy who had a head-on collision with my brother on a motorcycle trail. We both swerved. I just swerved the wrong direction.
It’s a gift, I know.
And while I’m not so great at moving around (my wife has a strict “please don’t do that” regarding my dancing), I am very grateful for some of the collisions I’ve had in my life.
Like the person who hit the bumper of my car when I was a newly licensed driver. Someone at a traffic light thought the light had changed and hit the gas, giving my car a bump. That moment taught me to allow space at the stoplight and to make sure I knew what was going on around me.
But I’ve also had some collisions in my life that have had a great impact on me personally as well.
Like my Sunday school teacher in high school, Phil Harley. He impacted my life in a huge way. He made a misfit, uncoordinated kid feel like he was a wanted part of the world. It’s why I looked forward to church and loved being around Phil and his family.
Or the time when I began to see the themes in my Lit class play out in the Bible, and when I began to see that all of life was a mere reflection of the story that unfolds in the Bible.
Or the time when I was driving on the Interstate, pouring my broken heart out to God and He brought both comfort and joy.
Or the time I met someone from another denomination who really loved God and I realized that my particular church didn’t have a monopoly on Him.
There are many other collision stories, moments when God’s truth collided with me, God’s people crashed into me, God Himself showed up in my life in ways that I never saw coming—much like a baseball soaring in the air or the tree that suddenly jumped into my path.
What about you?
What are the moments when God crashed into you?
What about the moments when His truth showed up somewhere you didn’t expect and He showed you something about who He is? Was it in the face of one of your children, your spouse or a total stranger? Was it in a sunset or in a book or a movie?
Take some time today to think about the ways God has collided with you, and you with Him. And how not only you collided, but you were changed.
Then do one more thing for me . . . tell your teen. Let your son or daughter hear about the collision from your own lips, let him or her into your story and get a glimpse of your collision stories.
And when he or she hears your stories about a God who collides with us, changes us, maybe they’ll be intentional about colliding with God as well.
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