Monday, July 5, 2010
“A Dog-Gone Good Try”...Or a "Character-Building Moment"
Taking a giant leap of faith to go off to seminary with a family of five and no visible means of support was probably one of the happiest years of our lives as we look back on it now. If you've read the previous four blogs, you will have a better idea of what I'm talking about. We had moved to Ohio from Florida early in the summer with no job in sight. Within the first hour of our arrival, my husband had a part time position preaching in a little country church...which didn't pay much, but it helped us get through the summer. By the time the seminary classes started in the fall, God had provided a much better part time position at a larger church with enough salary to keep us alive for the upcoming school year. This was truly a miracle, at least we thought so...but it was part of God's plan all along. He just waited to surprise us when we needed it most! (Right on time!)
Our family was settling into the routine at home and school and church very well. Although John was kept very busy with his studies at the Seminary, he was actually enjoying his work at the church as the Assistant Pastor of Youth and Music. One of our first activities with the youth group was to go roller-skating. Now this was a first for John! Skating had never been one of his favorite things to do. He was more of a competitive sports person, preferring activities like football, baseball, basketball, and soccer. But he was determined that he would learn to skate if it killed him…and it almost did!
That night we spent more time helping him back up onto his feet than skating around the rink! Just as he was really beginning to get the hang of it and was actually starting to skate with a little speed, he came to the curve and couldn’t quite maneuver it. Instead, much to his (and my) horror, he kept going straight ahead, right on through the emergency exit doors at the back of the building, and pushed the doors open, took a flying leap and landed outside in the sand! Overcoming his embarrassment and ignoring the laughter of everyone watching, he got up and managed to stumble back inside, even more more determined than ever to keep going. However, after he had landed on his backside several more times, with the back of his head bouncing off of the floor, I begged him to please stop before he killed himself! He finally gave in to my pleas and took off his skates.
The next morning during the church service, one of the men called John up on to the stage in front of the church and presented him with a brass dog trophy with the inscription, “To Pastor Steiner, For a Dog-Gone Good Try”! The whole congregation cheered and clapped and patted him on the back and had a good laugh at his “great skating skill”. It was a great moment!
Romans 5:3-4 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope..."
Thank you, Lord, that You were there with us during the happy times as well as the difficult times. We appreciate the little lessons in "perseverance" that came our way...they helped to prepare us for the more difficult trials that were yet to come. But through it all, YOU have always been there. Again I say, Thank you, Lord. Amen.
What are some of the "Character Building" moments you've experienced in your life? Sometimes it takes years...and a lot more maturity, for us to realize what growth was taking place, even in the embarrassing moments of our lives. Even if it hurts...we need to be thankful for those learning experiences that have produced perseverance, character, and hope.