Today was Daddy Day. Every Friday, I take my boys out for a donut, or a cup of hot chocolate, or something and we talk about stuff. Since they are 7, 5, and 1.5 the topics tend to be about spider-man, cartoons, video games, and occasionally God.
Today, after we got back from breaking donuts, Mike began riding his bike. He is outgrowing his bike, and it shows the battle scars of being the ‘steed he learned on – the back tire is bald from repeated skids, the seat is ripped from being dropped one too many times, and the pedals are broken in places. I commented to him that is probably time to get him a new bike. He looked up at me, and with all of his 7 year old wisdom said:
"Dad – I know this bike is kinda messed up. The pedals are broken, and the seat is torn. But I like it. It reminds me of all the times I fell learning to ride. It’s how I know it’s my bike… by how it’s broken. I guess that’s kina like people and God, huh dad?"
I then had a great moment with my son, talking about how my brokenness, my faults, and my hangups form who I am.
This all really hits home right now because Jen and I are in the process of transitioning ministries as we have left NCC and look to what God is doing in our future. As such, I have had/am having interview/discovery type talks with different groups of people, talking about projects, processes, interviews, funding, etc. These kinds of talks produce discussions about both our strengths and weaknesses…and I sometimes find myself getting bummed about the areas of weakness I always seem to fight in my life (I move and talk fast, can crab at my boys, am not good at details, don’t remember birthdays, etc). I had a conversation today with a friend who critiqued a talk I had with a group, and I found my thoughts focusing heavily on my areas of struggle.
"There you go Chris, did that again…man, shoulda’ slowed that down" etc.
But then I began to think of these critiques as MY OWN bald tire, ripped seat, and broken pedals – evidence that God is still growing me, still teaching me how to ride. I still need to work on all those things in my life that other people know about me, but it’s OK. God watches over me as I learn to ride this life he has given me knowing I will drop it time and again. I can’t get bummed over those things – because just like all of us, I’m still leaning to ride a battle-scarred life. It’s how I know it’s mine.