Today, my son turns 12. I can hardly believe it. It is amazing how quickly this journey has taken place. What a neat journey it has been. Watching his development and the changes that he has gone through has been an incredible roller coaster ride. I can't count the number of times I wished that I could spare him some of the hard knocks and trials that he has to go through. But, just like his dad, he has a little stubborn streak. (okay, maybe more than just a little--just like his dad). But there's another reason why I can't just "pour" my experience into him. Some things are just better learned the hard way--fire is hot, girls don't always make sense, you can't stick scissors into the outlet at the middle school without getting into trouble (Okay, that lesson was more mine than his but that's another story). You can teach and you can warn and you encourage but they are lessons best learned by personal experience.
Sound familiar? Maybe not for some of us but, for most, it's a lot like the lessons that we learn in our faith journey with God. Is He wise? Absolutely. Could He teach us these lessons with words or warnings? Perhaps. But some of the lessons of faith and life are best learned by journeying through the furnace itself. The experience must be yours before the wisdom can be. I try to keep that in mind with my faith and with my son. I can't walk life for him. And I can't save him from all that life will throw at him. But just like the Father, I can be here to offer him grace and mercy and safety when he needs it. I must let him go and grow and do what he will some times so that he will know for himself what life is all about. Besides, how do you tell a 12 year old what 120 volts of electricity feel like? Now, where did I put thoses scissors?