Living with a teenager provides one with a distinct advantage over all other mortals. You realize in fresh ways each day just how much change can occur within the human spirit day to day, far beyond any person’s ability to comprehend. It is not just the obvious emotional swings! Changing values and priorities, ways of handling relationship conflicts, preferred ways of participating in a group, and willingness to accept responsibility. The movement in these areas and others is never smooth or simple, however, movement is always happening.
One of Carli’s “must-do” birthday requests was to spend time hitting softballs. She believes this is one of her sports and she is out of practice! I tried to encourage her to invite others, looking for some help in fielding balls, but this was a father daughter event. As we play the friends in the neighborhood began to gather, unsure of what was going on and stunned by Carli’s hitting (good and bad!). They sat on the edge of the field, chatting, watching, and not willing to interrupt.
Carli saw them watching and waiting and invited them to come over to play. Soon a bizarre game of work-ups was in progress! Bases made from grass clippings, small girls who found it very hard to let go of a bat (too much cricket and rounders), and no way to get out unless one hit a fly ball.
I went to a field with a kid and discovered a young woman who cares deeply about the feelings and experiences of her friends. Carli did not care if anyone ever got out, only that they were enjoying themselves. Something is happening with her that is virtually invisible to the eye, except as you watch it being played out in the decisions and actions day to day.
We are very similar, especially when it comes to our walk with God. “We, of course, don’t see what’ is enlarging us. Bus the longer we wait, the larger we become and the more joyful our expectancy.” (Romans 8.25)
Living with God is the growth experience.