Lesson From a Spinning Rake of Death
Children grow. You can’t stop them. One minute they’re taking their first steps, the next they’re saying the words every parent dreads: “Dad, can I have the car keys?”
As parents we must train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). That includes spiritual training, physical training, educational training, character training and even driver’s training. But at some point we have to let our children take the wheel, hope they listened to us and trust God to protect them.
This fact nearly hit me in the face during a driving trip with my son. He needed some highway driving experience, so he took the wheel on a 120-mile journey to our home in Colorado Springs. A few miles into our trip, I noticed brake lights and cars swerving. Sitting in the passenger seat, I didn’t think much of it until I spotted a full-size washing machine in the middle of the road. Not an everyday occurrence, but my son handled the situation like he’d seen it a million times. With only a couple seconds of warning, he hit the brakes and maneuvered around it.
As we discussed the dangers of major appliances sitting in the middle of a highway, a landscaping truck pulled in front of us. Not a bad thing, unless a rake falls out, hits the road, breaks in two and goes airborne—which is exactly what happened. Teeth churning wildly, the metal rake looked lethal spinning toward our windshield at nearly 80 mph.
I closed my eyes and ducked. My son calmly jogged the car into the median and back onto the road, thus missing the spinning rake of death.
That’s when it hit me: my son had grown up. Sure, I still needed to nudge him toward following God’s will for his life. But ultimately, my job was to train him the right way and send him into the world.
Jesse Florea has written or co-written more than 20 books, including The One Year Devotions for Active Boys (Tyndale October 2014) with Karen Whiting. Jesse has worked at Focus on the Family for 21 years, and is the editor of Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse magazine and Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr.