Thank You, Apollo 13. I’ll Try Again.
By Ed Uszynski
“I hate trying to lead this family.”
That’s an exact quote to my wife, Amy, as she chased me down while I was fleeing to the garage.
I’m not even a “find peace in my garage” kind of guy. But at that moment, I would’ve taken anywhere away from my wife and four kids.
My latest attempt to lead, suggesting Bible time as a family, received the usual eye rolls, slumped bodies, and complaints accompanying every other try.
So I stormed out, a reaction I’m guessing impressed even the 9-year-old. I wouldn’t know for sure. I was headed to the garage.
When I finally got there, I started constructing my argument to God. He’d need someone else to nurture the spiritual life of the crew inside.
Then, out of nowhere, I heard Gene Krantz from Apollo 13 in my head: “Failure is not an option.” (Sometimes God uses Isaiah. Sometimes He uses a donkey. Sometimes He uses Gene Krantz.)
Failure’s not an option because no one else is called to be the husband and father in this house. It’s on me. There’s no bull pen for relief. The ball is in my hands.
And sometimes I hate that—resent it even—but I can’t run from it. I need to just keep pitching.
Leave the balls and strikes to God. You just keep throwing.
God isn’t measuring me by their response. He’s measuring me by mine.
To keep trying. To show up repeatedly in the power of the Holy Spirit, as Cru founder Bill Bright used to say, and leave the results to God.
So I headed back inside to try again. “Bible Project video anyone?” “Can I tell you how I met Jesus?” “Chapter of Proverbs a day to keep the devil away?”
When I’m in my right mind, it’s actually a great privilege. I just don’t like the feelings of rejection and failure that often come along with it.
The good stuff: Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2-3)
Action points: What do you find habitually discouraging about attempts to lead your family toward Jesus? How do you think God responds to your disappointment or frustration? What do you think it looks like to just be faithful today?
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