The Best 15 Minutes Of Our Day

18 02 2014

conversationsAlmost every day I drive our 16 year old son, Nathan to school. He doesn’t think he is a morning person (dragging himself out of bed at the last minute, showering for 20 minutes), but I think he is because some of our best conversations happen in the morning.

Conversations begin with a category usually:

  • “Do you want to hear something crazy?”
  • “Do you want to hear something funny?”
  • “Do you want to hear something dumb?”
  • “Do you want to hear something interesting?”
  • “Do you want to hear something scary?”

He has always done this, and I usually answer, “I love that category. Yes, tell me.”

What follows is always something that leads to something else and by the time we get to school, I am sorry we don’t have more time.

Nathan, in a word, is philosophical and I love that about him. The conversations that begin with “What if…” are some of my favorite. I love the broad and meandering conversations filled with abstract ideas and the wonderings of a couple of sojourners trying to figure things out. These are oasis moments where we end up being just two people rolling ideas around. These are also opportunity moments where I am able to stir inspiration, truth and encouragement into the mix. Some conversations feel sacred.

We have more good conversations than bad ones, but sometimes they are bad. Sometimes Nathan is an anarchist, a cynic, a lawyer, or an expert. I never know who I will be sitting with. Sometimes he is so compassionate I just want to bottle the moment, and other times he is reckless and it worries me.  Sometimes all the generosity in our relationship drains off and we are opponents who feel entitled to something else.

This is 16, and this is a 45 year-old parent trying to navigate a journey. I am sure about the destination, but all the in between is baffling. I want to be a good compass to Nathan but I have to admit that orienteering is harder than it looks. I am not used to the woods of this kind of growing up. I never wanted what he often wants. I cared a lot about my future but his generation says “YOLO” (you only live once), and think they are really living when it looks more like drowning.

I do a lot of praying when I am with Nathan. While a conversation is going on with him, I am searching the heavens for that wise word, that good answer, that thing I can say to him that will lift his perspective up and out. Some days it is there, and some days I get in the way of it. Some days, when all my buttons have been pushed, I really get in the way of it. What a mouthy kid he is then, and I am only his adversary. Sigh.

My husband and I have always worked to build our home God’s way. I know Jesus wants to bless us with wisdom and guidance and strength. I know He loves us and wants to help us. I know he loves Nathan unfathomably more than we do and understands the confusion and anxiety, the weight on the shoulders of a young man trying to find his way.

He does not flinch when a teen squares off. He is not put off by poorly chosen words. He is as secure in Himself with Nathan as with any one of us are ungrateful, disloyal, and rebellious; as He is with me.

How I need to keep this before me.

I must remember I am a disciple before I am a parent.

If the best 15 minutes of our day ends up being that drive, then I have to wonder how Jesus would use that time. I know Jesus would be infinitely curious. He would be interested enough in Nate to ask fantastic questions. He would give thoughtful responses. He would be fully present with Nate and would know when to be light with Him and when to put forward the challenge to “do hard things.”

Jesus would be personal about His own life and honest about temptations. He would identify with the trials of the day. He would nod his head about the challenges of friendships and feelings of betrayal. He could speak about feeling angry. And, best of all, He could answer this question perfectly: “What’s the point?”

Jesus would think about what’s needed right now. A listening ear (mostly), a soft word, a soda, silence. He would hug Nate and tell him — a thousand times a thousand — that He loves Him (no matter what). It is so easy for me to think about how Jesus would be and how much He wants to use that sweet spot– the best 15 minutes of our day.

In 497 days, Nathan graduates (fingers crossed, haha) and those 15 minutes will be no more. I feel the racing of those hands on the clock and tell myself, “Don’t waste those minutes!” And God’s Word comes beside me as a good friend, reminding me once more:

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…

(Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV)

— Teresa Klassen




One response

18 02 2014

Good words Mrs. Klassen!

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