This past weekend when I was driving my son back to meet his mom after having him for the weekend we had some great conversations. My son is 14 almost 15 and I adopted him when he was 11 years old from Ukraine. I try to encourage deeper conversations with my son but that at times is like herding cats. He doesn’t mind talking about TV shows or video games but deeper conversations is not his specialty. From my experience as a youth minister I am use to teens trying to give vague answers and I know to stay away from closed questions that can be answered with a yes, no, or other one word answers. It can be pretty funny because even when I do that at times he will still try to give me a one word answer. Here is an example…
Me: “Hey Roma, What was something you did today in school that was pretty cool?”
Me: “No, I didn’t ask how was school today I asked what was something you did today in school that was fun or cool to do.”
Me: “What did you do in science class that you liked?
Roma: “I don’t know…stuff.”
I think you get the picture and probably many of you with teens are familiar with these conversations. So I was pretty surprised this past weekend when my son and I were talking a little bit and then he asked me, “What were some of your dreams when you were my age?” I talked about how I use to love watching wrestling when I was younger so I remember wanting to be in the WWE (WWF at that time), I also have a big love for animals so I remember wanting to work with animals in some capacity, I have always greatly enjoyed the sport of basketball so I can remember dreaming about playing in the NBA one day. He asked me why I didn’t end up doing those things, what changed? Which this lead to a great opportunity to share how I became a Christian and felt the call of God on my life to become a pastor. Please don’t get me wrong the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Detroit Pistons were not knocking down my door before that happened…there isn’t really much of a need for a 5″11 guy who has average speed and can’t even touch the rim in the NBA. So my son then asked, “What are your dreams now?” I got to share my current desire to become ordained and how I am currently pursuing that, I was able to share how one day I would like to be able to speak at a conference even on a small level, I shared how it would be great to write articles periodically for Christian magazines, and how one day I would like to be to contribute in a greater way in our Methodist denomination.
So then I asked him, “What are some of your dreams?”
He went on to share his desire to join the military after he graduates and then he said he wants to make a robot that looks like a human…much like the Terminator but without the chaos and the end of the world stuff. In times like this it is so important in how we respond. I could have said, “Well Roma that is kind of silly. Why don’t you do something that is a little more realistic?” However, what good would that have done? So instead I said, “That’s great! What kind of things will your robot do? What will it look like? Why do you want to make this robot? What will you name it?” There are enough people around that try to crush other people’s dreams because they did not have the courage to pursue their’s. So I want to encourage you whether it is your child or someone in the ministry that you work with find ways to encourage their dreams because you never know what might happen!
What are some ways you are encouraging others dreams right now?