It seems that my son and I have our most interesting talks in the car. His name is Gavin and he will be 11 in September. I love Him just because he is my son and for many other reasons, but one reason I love him so much is just because he is his father's son, and my husband is the love of my life. That doesn't make it easy and it doesn't make my son perfect, but he will always be the fruit of my youthful love for my husband.
He is in some ways a difficult child...headstrong, stubborn, and he always has to have the last word, but in other ways he's a joy to watch....strong, completely confident in his ability, friendly, and smart.
Today I was taking him to summer camp early because they're going to the zoo. I look over at him, and I'm struck by how much his hair looks just like Jim Carey's in Dumb & Dumber, so I say to him, "You know, Gavin, you're getting to the age where if you want your hair to look nice, you have to work with it. You have to wash it, comb it, part it, put gel on it everyday. That way, it gets used to being put in a certain way, not just doing what it wants. You have to train your hair to do what you want it do. You don't just want your hair to look like Jim Carey's in Dumb & Dumber, do you?" He just gave me his little "maybe" smile, and I told him I guess he wasn't as smart as I thought he was. That little conversation got us to talking about how we each need to prepare ourselves each day for how we want to be perceived by the people we meet each day and that everyone we come in contact can be affected for good or for bad. I told him that we need God's help in preparing us. We need time with God in His Word and in prayer, and then we can possibly help someone to come to know Jesus by the things we say and do or we can help someone move away from knowing Jesus by choosing to do and say things that are wrong and not pleasing to God. I told him, "Everything you do and say influences the people you come in contact with for good and bad. Which one do you want to be to people today?" I could see the wheels turning in his little brain. (Gavin's teachers tell me he is a great leader; and that some days that he leads them to good and other days, not so much!)
God is so good. I've been praying for Him to help me talk to Gavin, for Him to parent Gavin, to love Gavin through me. This conversation went so well because God spoke through me, in love, not in criticism or condemnation, but by telling Gavin that he has an opportunity to be an example and to think about what kind of example he wants to be. I pray that God will remind him of what he used to tell me when he was just a real little guy, "Mommy, someday I'm going to be a righteous man of God" and that he will choose to lead them on the path to heaven.
God is saying that to all of us today. So, how about you? Do you want to help people along on the road to heaven or the other road, so well traveled these days?