Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Several weeks ago, I was driving my 13 year-old son, TJ, home from small groups and I asked him the normal parent question: “How was it?”

To which he said, “It was good. But it got me thinking. I’ve actually been thinking a lot lately. Actually, last Sunday I wrote down a bunch of questions I have.”

“Did you talk about them tonight?”

“No, not really.”

“Well, if you’re up for it, I’d like to hear those questions.  Why don’t you bring the list to our next breakfast meeting on Friday and we’ll talk about it.”

Two days later he did and we sat down for java, juice, and a bagel while he busted out a wrinkled piece of paper from his back pocket with some questions scribbled on it:

  • Where did the devil come from?
  • How come I was born where I was and other people were born where they were? 
  • How do you know that prayer is real? 
  • etc…. there were like 15 of them. 
As we talked, I was so amazed by the depth of his questions and the sincerity with which he was wrestling with life and faith. Since we only have about 45 minutes together before school, we never really got beyond about 5 or so of them before he lost the paper in the laundry in what we playfully refer to as a “middle school moment” in our house.  
Anyway, I told him after a couple of weeks of questions that I would be honored if he would write a blog post for me on his questions.   Today I harassed him at our breakfast meeting and said, “Hey, you never wrote that blog post.”  To which he said, “Yes I did, it’s on the computer at home.  I wrote it during spring break.” 
So, tonight I dug it up.  Here it is… my son TJ’s honest wrestling with life and faith in his own words, unaltered or edited by me. 
Welcome to the world of trying to help my own teenage son learn how to think, and not just what to think. 

Hi. This is T.J. and here are some of my questions about God and life.

What is my purpose?
This is a big one for me. I want to know where I am going with my life but I really have no idea. I want to have a plan and be able to shoot for it. But I can’t find a plan. Therefore, I am thinking that I have to trust God and believe that he has a good plan for my life, and that is the best plan for me individually.

How can I relate to the Bible?
The Bible is this book that we look at every week in church. OK, well, how can I relate to this religious book that is so important in the Christian religion and way of life. I want to do what I am supposed to and be able to what God wants me to do, but in order for me to be able to do that, I have to be able to get what he is telling me to do.

What is God trying to tell me? 
I really have no idea about this one. I know that all of the pastors and people can sit there for a day sometimes and think that God was talking to them, but how do they know?  I mean I have seen God speak through other people in my life, but how come I can’t hear his voice directed towards me? Just me. Not through someone else’s voice but straight to me. I have thought that I have before but then I keep telling myself that it was just my mind talking to itself. Because whenever that happens, I am always trying to listen and then I don’t think that it is God but just my mind.

How come God doesn’t speak straight to people in person any more?
This one is confusing and I’m trying to figure it out. I think that it might have to do with God supposedly being able to speak through the Holy Spirit. But I have no idea really. I know that way back in the Old Testament, God used to talk to Abraham and Noah and all of those people. That doesn’t mean that I am any closer to knowing why. I am just trying to find out why he doesn’t. I want him to talk straight to me. Not through other people, but to me directly. This one is just trying to work itself out in my mind.

How come I can live like a robot, with no thought?
I have no idea about this one either. I really want to know. I can go through a whole day not thinking about what I am doing and not get in trouble and make descent choices. I want to know why I don’t have to think about God and the Bible and all of that stuff in my day? I want to have that stuff in my daily life, but sometimes it seems like I can go without it and I don’t want to be without it. I think that it is a personal decision and I think that the decision is mine to make.

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