I Too Have Pre-teen ‘Tude

Family bike rides are similar to a toddler’s birthday party. They can be fun and filled with great memories, or they can be a disaster with random family members melting down in the middle of it. Unfortunately, you never know which one you’re going to get – you’re in the middle of it and it’s too late to turn back.

We had great weather in Boise yesterday so we decided to attempt a long bike ride with the kids. Our plan was to bike out so many miles, stop, eat lunch and give everyone a break and then return home. Fortunately our kids have outgrown toddler meltdowns but we’re heading full swing into the pre-teen moodiness and know-it-all phase.

Oh mercy!

Mark led the way, followed by Noah and Anastasia with me bringing up the rear (I’m trying hard to be mature and ignore the many uses of a pun here). Noah began to fall behind (oh the potential puns). His legs were spinning fast but producing little speed.

I pedaled up next to him and noticed he was in the wrong gear. “Hey buddy, if you change to your bigger ring, you’ll be able to go faster.”

“No. I don’t need to – I’m doing fine here.”

Okay, maybe I didn’t explain it well.

“The gear you are in now is better for going up hill. We are on flat pavement so a bigger gear will make it easier for you.”

“Nope – that one hurts my legs.”

Our banter went back and forth and we continued to fall further behind Mark and Anastasia. They eventually stopped and waited for us and when Mark heard our debate, he too tried to convince Noah.

After a while we succeeded but I was on the verge of a toddler-like meltdown myself.

Why must he challenge me on everything?!

Later that night I was praying for guidance on how to handle this new “don’t tell me how to live my life” ‘tude that has invaded my awesome little dude. I was in the middle of blaming it on his father when it hit me; I do the same with God.

How many times has He tried to give me instruction and I blow Him off, “No thanks. I’m comfortable where I am”?

At times He’s directing me to a bigger gear and to me bigger often sounds harder. But if I’d only listen and obey, it wouldn’t take long for me to discover I’d accomplish more with less effort – the same way Noah went faster with fewer pedal strokes once he changed gears.

It’s not always easy to accept the advice or give up control. But, when it comes from a loving and all-knowing God (not to be confused with know-it-all), it will always be in our favor to do so.

How about you, is it is easy for you to receive correction from others or God?

Do you ever give the pre-teen “tude” to God’s direction in your life?