Monday, October 29, 2012

Take it up a notch and then don't be Tony C

From time to time, I do a little teenager bashing on my personal blog at Tony C Today. Much of it can be easily justified by something stup...excuse me...ridiculous my own teenager has said or done (I can no longer use the stupid word by decree of Mrs. Tony C). Having a teenage girl, a soon to be five year old and an approaching terrible two's toddler gives me greater understanding of the plight of Job. As a matter of fact, there are days I'd rather sit around and scrape scabs to open wounds than listen to one more lame excuse trying to justify the funky smell emitting from a certain person's room or the lack of appropriate attire that coincides with current weather patterns. UGGGHHHH!

But that's not my direction a matter of fact, I'm going a completely different way...hopefully for good. While on vacation a few years back, I managed to get in some long overdue casual reading. Oh, I read a lot daily, but keeping up with the world today requires reading or watching or listening to a plethora of daily casual/leisure reading often takes a back seat...or would toilet seat be more accurate. I digress...

One of the books I was able to work through was Do Hard Things by Alex and Brent Harris. I had heard and read good reviews about the book and the premise that teenagers are tired of the low expectation placed on them as a group from society. Interesting....but I needed more information.

Wow! Starting with the Forward by none other than Chuck Norris, this book grabbed and convicted me. The book is not complex, yet it challenges the core belief in most adults today that teenagers are a lazy bunch looking for the path of least resistance in life. You find yourself quickly on the battlefields of WW II where the fate of the world often was in the hands of 17 or 18 years old on both sides of the fight. There are examples from Biblical times up to present day of teenagers making major impact in the world.

Also, Do Hard Things is a book on faith. The authors proudly testify about the impact Christ has made in their own lives. The book won't keep your teenagers out of trouble. Instead, it challenges both them and you to put God at the center and strive to achieve your fullest potential by...well...doing hard things.

Previous ESPN the Magazine article titled Do Hard Things

I've got to admit, the book has had a profound impact on the way I view and deal with my own teenager. Even though I held her to high expectations (or so I thought), I still placed limits on her ability to make a major impact for God and for herself in the world....and it's not just her. Working with youth at church can often be frustrating and painful, but now I see that I create a lot of the negative feelings I have because my own actions and words project low expectations from the get-go.

Read this book. If you have children, work with youth or if you've ever been a this book! I'm very glad it was suggested to me and I did. Be warned that your toes might get stepped on like mine did...but in the's well worth the self-reflection and renewed faith that everything will be okay when the kids of today get their chance to run things. We should expect that from them.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I've wanted this book and recommend it to some I know. I get so tired of the "wait until they're teenagers" statements...since I will have 4 at one time. I completely agree that teenagers have become the way they are because of what is expected of them and constantly being put down by their own parents. Where we attend church the teenagers are amazing! They are very respectful and always serving in the church. They clean up after all meals, eat LAST, and some have come and helped this pregnant Momma before and after having babies. They are exceptional servants ministering to those in need in the church.

So...I agree with your post and the premise of the book for sure! I have truly observed both sides of the coin in action...and personally look forward to the sweet time with my four teenagers. (It's gotta beat 2 preschoolers, a toddler, and a newborn!)