Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)
TITLE: Teenage Hunger Pangs
By Corinne Smelker
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Recently though, I have noticed another kind of hunger from this man-child. He has a close band of friends, with whom he shares everything — the good, the bad and the ugly. He is a natural leader, and his friends gladly follow him; he has more self-control than most adults I know (including me). He seldom loses his cool, and has a kind word for everyone, and a soft spot for people in trouble.
Like so many of your children, my son has been in church his whole life — one of the ones “born in the pew”. His foundation is good, and solid, but his future is now up to him. We guide him and pray for and with him, but he is old enough now to choose his own path.
Our move to Texas was hard on this the oldest of our children. He’d been with the same friends for 12 of his 14 years, and although he understood the move, there was an underlying ripple of resentment.
Our previous church was established, our new one less than one year old. The youth was building slowly, too slowly for his liking and he abandoned it during wrestling season, even though we encouraged him to attend. But this summer our church hired a full-time Youth Pastor, a man so on fire for God, the heat radiates off him. The youth got energized and my son, my just-turned-fifteen-year-old was tapped to be a leader.
I’m not sure whether it was the added responsibility that was handed to him, or whether it was an encounter with God I was privileged enough to witness, but my son now has an insatiable appetite for the things of God.
“I have to read five chapters of the Bible each day,” he announced two weeks ago. OK, this is a boy who took all summer to read “The Pearl”!
I thought up a proposition. “I will read those chapters every day too, and then we can talk about them.” I brightly said.
I received the withering stare that is birthright of all teens. “Mom. I can do it on my own.” And by gum – he has and he is!
In the last month he has led two of his three best friends to the Lord, and last week wrote one of his friends a three-page letter filled with love and concern for some wrong actions this boy had taken. (He went to Michigan for 6 weeks during the summer — all I got was a “Hi Mom” email from him!) He has spent more time in prayer than in video games, more time reading the Word than in watching TV, and more time talking with quiet intensity to his friends about God than in discussing the latest football games.
I can’t always keep the fridge and pantry as well-stocked as he would like, but in this house there will always be an endless supply of God’s love ministered through His Word and through our prayers. As long as there are hungry hearts, we are willing to provide.
Now that kind of hunger I can get used to!