Our church is located eleven and a half miles from our house. This is not a huge distance but considerable enough. With toll fees, and the gas price increase, I have estimated that a round trip adventure costs $12.00. I drive a 15 year old beast of a car. That is considerable.
Our seventeen year old daughter is highly involved with the youth group at our church. Since she does not drive it is up to my husband and me to drive her to her many affairs which happen at our near our church. Normally, driving our teenager to an event at church would be a joy. I could think of worse places a teenager would want to be on a biweekly or more basis. However, since I am employed by our church, the driving eleven and a half miles twice a day wears me down and becomes expensive so I complain, “Why does she have to be at church so often? I am so sick of driving out there.”
The other day I was in line for the self-checkout at the grocery store. A young teenage girl who appeared to be 15 stood with her friend in line behind me. In her hand was a small, rectangular, box. After having 4 children and being pregnant 8 times, I recognized the size and font to be a box containing a pregnancy test. Nervously the girls attempted to rush through the self-checkout kiosk in hopes of shoving the box in their bags for no one to notice. Their rushing backfired into beeping machines, a lengthy checkout, and a myriad of people waiting to use the register.
As I left the grocery store I thought to myself, “Either that child is about to breathe a sigh of relief or launch into a mess of stress and anxiety.” I thought about the repercussions emotionally and physically. I drove home sad.
I began thinking about our own teenage daughter, her involvement with church and Christ following students, and her upcoming mission trip to Ukraine. I also thought about how much I complain about the frequency of dropping her off at church. I remember that her body is void of piercings, her hair is a normal color, she gets good grades, does what we ask her to, and that boys are not a priority in her life, and that she probably cannot correctly spell teenage angst.
I vowed to never complain, out loud, about driving her to church.