But that's not my direction today...as 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 scoop....so 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 teenager...read 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 end...it'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.