From Ritalin to Reaching the Lost
I’m a talker. I’ve been a talker my whole life.
I checked with my mom this week and according to her, I said my first word “dog” at 10 months. By 15 months I could state the names of extended family, like Uncle _______, Auntie _______, etc. I could say full sentences by 18 months.
Now speaking, in particular speaking before thinking through all the implications or ramifications of my words has been a problem for a long time.
If you were to call my mentor this morning and ask him, “What’s Jeremy’s biggest struggle?” I’m sure he would tell you, “Speaking before thinking through the outcome of his words.”
Having this character trait was an incredibly exasperating struggle growing up, both for me, and my parents.
The Trouble With Talking
My struggle with speaking before thinking often got me into hot water at school. Too often the words were out of my mouth before my hand was in the air. Sometimes my hand was in the air but the teacher was just taking too long to call my name.
Week after week, and sometimes day after day, I spent hours in the hallway or down at the principles office. And notes would be sent home, explaining that Jeremy was disrupting class, yet again.
Supposedly, this would give me the ability to think before speaking. My parents struggled with the decision, but went with the suggestion to help keep me out of trouble. And supposedly, there was a significant improvement.
I was quieter and less disruptive.
I spent less time in the hallway and less time at the principles office, but I wasn’t the same. I remember feeling like my emotions and perhaps my creativity were momentarily removed. The drug silenced my tongue, but also took a piece of who I was.
Thankfully, my parents took me off Ritalin on weekends, so I could be myself. By high school I got off the drug altogether. I would have to learn how to find different ways and different times to communicate all the rapidly moving thoughts in my mind. And I did.
But why am I telling you all this?
God planned for me to be a talker.
God had a plan that one day I’d be writing blog posts like this one, communicating everything that’s flying through my mind when there’s no one around to listen.
God planned for me to be a leader.
Throughout this month, we’ve been working our way through this series on Biblical Leadership, under the title, “Leaders Are Everywhere”. We’ve been looking at a different Biblical leader each week.
I connect with Peter.
When I read through the Gospels and the mistakes he made, I feel like I understand Peter. Both in his desire or need to communicate, but also in his struggle of communicating too soon or communicating the wrong thing, or the right thing at the wrong time.
This week, we’re going to explore the ups and downs of Peter’s life and leadership. We’ll highlight how he eventually became one of the greatest Gospel communicators that has ever lived. And in turn, the planter of this thing we call “church“.
Above all, we’ll see once again, that “God can use anyone, from anywhere, to do anything.”
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Can I get your feedback?
Peter was a talker. As a talker, I’ve always felt a connection with Peter. What characteristics do you see in him as a young disciple? What have you learned from his life and leadership?