His typical late night phone call informed us that he had been hired by the Flagstaff, AZ fire department as part of their Wildfire Control Unit. Immediately, several questions came to my mind. Does that mean you are actually going to be around forest fires? (Starting to get a little worried now). Don’t you have to have some special training to fight forest fires? (I was pretty sure his freshman year of college hadn’t qualified him).
As he answered yes to both of these questions, I realized that I was in for another lesson on letting go and launching this son of ours. But the training he was to go through was going to be even harder:
10 mile hikes up the mountain with a 50 pound backpack and his chain saw
5:30am wake ups followed by an hour of calisthenics
1000 pushups for being 10 minutes late
Another 1000 pushups for letting his chain saw slip and cut through his Kevlar chaps
And many more too numerous to detail
But with all these new challenges, Colt said by far the scariest thing he had to do everyday was “Pack my own lunch,” (maybe he still needs me)!
Wow, what a summer he’s had! He has worked harder than he has ever worked in his short 19 years, he has learned emergencies skills that will serve him and others for the rest of his life, and he has had to function in the “world” while living out his own values. He has learned to be part of a team whose lives depend on each other. He has learned how a split second decision can make the difference between life and death. And perhaps he has a better understanding of where God wants to use him in his life vocation.
Sure, I missed having him home for the summer and I’ve been praying for him more than ever. However, God used one summer job to solidify a childhood full of life lessons that we have placed in his heart. It was a good trade off.
For some reason, entrusting our kids to God is never easy. But in doing so, God has made Colt stronger mentally, physically and spiritually. God has also been faithful to answer the prayers of a Mom who loves her boy like God loves us (a lot!!).
In this you greatly rejoice…that the proof of our faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:7
Here’s to hot summer days and God’s amazing plans.