In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A lesson from Daniel

I've mentioned before that I learn a lot from my kids. Recently my youngest son Daniel, who is 15, has taught me some things worth pondering.

I've watched Daniel really struggle over the past couple of years with football. We live in a small town and football is a huge deal at the local high school. Daniel is on the team at the high school; but he doesn't do well. He works really hard; he even stays after practice and does extra running, working out and weight lifting to try to increase his ability. Because he tries so hard the coach does periodically give him chances, but he frequently messes up during those times. He's talked to me concerning this more than once. To make matters worse, his older brother who is just one grade ahead of him in school, is really good (of course this particular son happens to be 6'3" and 225lbs as a Jr in high school, so he's practically made to be a line man). All I've told Daniel is that I see such a spirit of faithfulness in him and that I think God honors that, and that I think this faithful, hardworking attitude will serve him well throughout his life. I never comment on the actual football part because I don't know much about football, he does seem to mess up, and the truth is that not everyone is good at every thing they try.

Daniel plays drums with the worship team in our small church. As part of a get-to-know-the-folks-up-here-on-the-stage-every-Sunday kind of thing, he was asked to give a testimony during church. What he shared both humbled and blessed me. It's also really had me thinking about those truths ever since he shared.

Daniel read the passage from Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus told the parable of the talents. In a nutshell the parable is about a man who was going on a journey and gave 3 servants varying amounts of talents/money to watch while he was gone. When he returned he called the servants in to see how they had done with the money he left them. Two servants had invested and done well and they were rewarded, the servant who was given the least had done nothing with what he was given and he was punished. Daniel pointed out that not everyone was given the same amount of money to invest and that the man was most interested in what they did with what he gave them. Daniel shared about his struggles with football and then shared how the bottom line was that if God had wanted him to be the best at football he would have given him that talent but that obviously that was not God's plan for him. But that he believes God is very interested in how he uses whatever it is that he is given. He said he plays football because he thinks it's fun, and he's to the point where he chooses to do his best and just leave the rest up to God. Daniel talked about the fact that there most likely will always be people who are better at whatever it is that we each like to do, but that the talents other people have is not the really important issue. The really important issue is what we each do with what we are given.

Gee sometimes my 15yr old is smarter than me.

What Daniel shared has got me to think about, and look at, what I am doing with what God has given me. It's made me check to see if I'm using my meager talents in some areas as an excuse to not step out and serve others in these areas. There's one area in my community where there is a need and I was approached about serving in it a while back; but I turned the opportunity down because I had focused on my deficits. Recently I was approached again, but this time I'm stepping out in faith in that area simply because there is a need and I'm willing to serve. I'm choosing to rely on God's greatness instead of my giftedness.

What about you, do you ever let what you perceive to be your lack of talent keep you from serving? Do you ever refrain from participating in things that you think are fun just because you think you're not good enough at them?


Denise said...

We have to be willing to step out in faith.

jenny said...

You have raised your son well :)
There are just things that must be taught by some younger kids for us to realize that we are doing the wrong thing or we are doing it wrongly..
Have a nice day:)

RCUBEs said...

We all learn from failures and mistakes. But pair it with His truth and it becomes a powerful lesson for all of us. God wants us to be victors not losers. Great lesson from your son. Blessings.

Michelle said...

I think these days what keeps me from stepping out to do God's work is my responsibility at home. There are local ministries I would like to be involved in and I find myself using my babies as an excuse to not get out there and do it.

Tracy said...

Michelle, I think it poses an interesting question when you're talking ministry vrs children. It definitely doesn't HAVE to be either or; but sometimes it sincerely is. My thoughts have always been that when in question, pray; but if I'm still not sure - my kids come first. I truly believe that one's spouse and children are their first ministry (I realize that you think this way too). There's a lady who I know right now who has 3 teen daughters and is super actively involved in ministry; but 2 of her daughters have huge issues and I wonder if it would be a more valuable use of her time to be with those girls more. Now I could be wrong and when the day is done her choices really aren't my business....but I think you get the point I'm making.

I guess what I want to say to you is:

Don't be hard on yourself. You have a sincere heart for God and love those very young children God has blessed you with. Trust in Him and know that sometimes it's OK to refrain from ministry for a time to focus on your family and the opportunities God will bring your way through your children.

JD Curtis said...

Daniel is what? A sophomore? If that's the case the difference a year can make is huge. He'll be even better when he's a senior. Tell him to play other sports as well. It'll improve his coordination. Listen to me. Like some uncle or something. HAH!

photogr said...

Well I don't have any excuses for not serving God. I just do it as He leads me. Funny thing. What I find Him leading me to do is usually some thing I have to ask " God are you sure you want me to do that?" Fortunately, He knows me better than I do.

Gaia said...

What's with kids these days.. they are worldy and wiser than us parents. Is there something in the food they eat?

Well I am guilty of doing that all the time. Short of saying I am useless. But I must agree with your boy, we must do and use what talents we were given. God would want us to do that and not let it go to waste.

tandemingtroll said...

What a great story and great encouragement for us moms with (slightly) younger kids, that we will see the fruit of what we have poured into our kids, both our prayers and God's word.

Busyness is my usual excuse for not doing something. Four kids just starting outside activities don't leave me a lot of time for ministry. However, God has shown me that prayer is a powerful ministry that doesn't involve specific time commitments or a special location.

Thanks for reading my blog, too.

John said...

Very well written write-up. I love to blog but only on good subjects.
like the hot online shop:NFL Shop.I literally enjoyed the concept described in the post.

Being Me said...

The spirit is certainly working in your child..

I agree, we each have talents, some of us are just late in locating them.

Bless you.
I tagged you in my latest tag post, hope you'll pass it on.


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