Parents of otherwise well-behaved 15-year-old boys know this to be true: At home, sometimes they can be real stinkeroos.
Such was the case the morning I was getting him ready for a New Year's Eve trip with his church youth group to Winter Ramp in Dalton, Ga. The process of getting him showered, dressed, packed and out the door was stressful and loud. By the time he boarded the bus to leave, my blood pressure had spiked and I prayed under my breath, "Lord, help him."
And He did.
My guy, who used to sit sullenly next to us in church and never stood during praise music, returned from the trip and took up a spot on the front row of the church. He was the first to stand, and raised his hands high in worship.
Tommy and I looked at one another, "Are you believing what you are seeing?"
I confess, I initially took a wait-and-see approach. His older sister had come home from youth trips on a similar spiritual high which quickly faded after a few weeks back in her regular world.
Not him. After years of chasing him off a computer or video game and arguing about whether midnight was an appropriate bedtime, "Honey, you need to stop reading your Bible and go to bed," feels odd as it comes off our tongues.
But as I told a group of ladies Wednesday night -- it's not just that my son got a touch from the Holy Spirit. It's as though He opened up a vessel and poured into it an overflowing of knowledge, comprehension and understanding that could only be supernatural in light of the amount of time he has spent in prior theological pursuits.
"Mom, I guarantee you've never had a spiritual experience like I've had."
And oh, the questions!
What initially rose up in my spirit was the urge to educate, edify. A new-ish Christian, he makes certain statements to which my first instinct is to reply, "Well, yes, that's true, but ... "
After all, I've spent years studying various topics popular in the Christian Living aisle. Those 12 full totes of books we've transported cross country and back are primarily on religious topics. One tote is full of more than a dozen versions of the Bible itself.
God stilled my mouth -- and with that, brought this thought: Leave him alone. He's got plenty of time to intellectualize and study and debate the Big Issues that Christians face. Right now his faith has things mine often lacks -- like boldness.
"Can I pray for you?" he asked someone this week. Can't remember the last time I said that to someone out loud.
He's determined to change the world. He plans to start with his school.
I think his generation of believers, more than any other before it, will face extraordinary tests of their faith, and I believe God is -- even now -- equipping them for what is to come.