“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
When my son was three, he was given a bright orange car, low to the ground, powered by petals and steered with hand holds.
At the time, we lived in a cottage. Actually, when I use the term “cottage” I am using euphoric recall. It was a shack situated in the yard of our landlord. Noah’s room, and I’m not exaggerating, was the laundry nook. He slept where a dryer was once located.
But the joy of this home was the gigantic yard contacted to a long driveway. In the middle of the yard was a big tree with a solid trunk. Perfect for crashing.
That’s what Noah used it for. He’d get into his orange car and race down the driveway as fast as his little boy feet could pedal and then he’d turn into the grass, still charging ahead with full force, and crash into that tree.
I’d watch, holding my breath, sure he’d develop toddler whiplash or neck problems. John would just laugh at his fearlessness.
And the part that I recall the most fondly, ten years later, is what happened after the crash.
Noah’s car and body would reverberate and in the next second his non-whiplashed neck would go back and he’d let out the loudest and most contagious laugh. Pure delight.
After his laugh, he’d yell, “Did you see that, Dad?”
“Atta boy!” John would call.
And Noah would drive back up the driveway to do it all again. Over and over.
Crash after crash.
God is teaching me through my fearless boy. Crashes happen, don’t they? Be it a lost job, a disappointment in a relationship or as I’ve recently experienced, a rejection.
And God has shown me that I need a “crash-course” on dealing with crashes.
1) I need to expect them. Life is difficult. Any journey has obstacles. Anything worth doing well requires hard work and yep, pain.
2) I need to practice my reactions to crashes. Instead of complete shock and bewilderment, accompanied by wailing and eating too much, I need to try breathing and putting things into perspective. In order to do that, TRUST IN GOD, is required. And out of trust comes joy. This will add to my relationship with Jesus, which is ultimately the most vital aspect of any journey.
Today I choose to employ my son’s kamikaze tactics in my writing attempts. I could continue to write with a delicate attitude, hoping what God has given me to say pleases everyone and makes me a ton of money or fame.
But no more.
Today I am a child again, racing ahead with the words God’s given me, typing as fast my 49-year-old fingers will allow. And when I crash, it’ll be with purpose and joy and I’ll let out a loud laugh.
“Did you see that, God?”
And He’ll yell, “Atta girl!”
You know, I’m one of those folks who choose a word for the year. This year my word is “adventure.” What adventure story doesn’t include some great crashes?
Wherever you might be in your adventure, race ahead with Him! And may the Lord bless our crashes!
(Tomorrow - Part 3 - Digging up the Roots of Greed)