When Grant was a little boy we called him the Energizer Bunny. He kept going, and going, and going. Grant was a bundle of non-stop energy, unquenchable curiosity, and outlandish confidence. His most repeated phrase – “I know how.” One Saturday morning when we asked Grant why he didn’t like to sleep late he answered, “I would sleep in, but I always feel like I’m missing out on life.”
A couple of weeks ago we happened upon the results of Grant’s StrengthsFinder assessment, a test he took during his freshmen year of college. Grant’s top five (in alphabetical order): Activator, Competition, Includer, Positivity, Strategic.
Energizer Bunny indeed.
One of my favorite things about being a mom is discovering my kids’ personalities. I absolutely love seeing how they’re wired and observing how they think. Each boy is so different, a unique combination of God-given ingredients.
Over the years Kyle and I developed a tradition for each of our boys on their ninth birthday. The tradition involved a special dinner out, and our own strengths-finder. This was before we knew about the official assessment, and we created a mom and dad evaluation. Based on observation alone, we picked our top four. As I recall, our parent picks for nine-year-old Grant included confidence, determination, competitiveness, and talent.
The purpose of our birthday assessment went beyond merely identifying gifts. Our objective was to bring our boys a new perspective. We wanted them to see their gifts as possibilities. Possibilities for good, or for ill. We said something like this. God has given you these strengths, and you can use them selfishly, or generously. For yourself, or for others.
You can live full of self, or full of God.
We saw this in Grant, and now he sees it for himself. Self-confidence and God-confidence are vastly different. Determination is the gift of persevering, or an excuse for being stubborn. Talent will either glorify self or glorify God. With each gift we’re given, we’re given a choice.
A few years ago, when Grant was seventeen, he went on a mission trip, and he encountered God. He came back filled up. Same kid, new Spirit. I remember saying to Kyle, “It’s like God took his personality and filled it up with Himself.”
Tomorrow Grant will begin student teaching at an elementary school within walking distance of our house. He’ll be great teacher. But Grant’s real passion is music. He wants to be a worship leader at a church, and I have a hunch it’s the path he’ll pursue.
Whatever he chooses – teacher, musician, or pastor – he has the right stuff. This activating, including, competing, strategic, positive young man – filled up with the Spirit of Jesus – is an exciting combination.
Look out world, the Energizer Bunny is on the loose.