Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

I suck at Pinewood Derby cars

Please excuse my boldness in language, but honestly, it is the truth. Nothing really gets me feeling more inadequate than working on a Pinewood Derby car for my son's cub scout pack. I want to do well, I really do. However, something manages to escape me from plan to execution.

minecraft creeper car.jpeg

The first thing I realize is that I am horrible with little details. The car is only 7 inches long, and I am not great with the small pieces. My hands feel big and awkward. This year Connor wanted his car to look like this Minecraft car. Seems simple enough, but for some reason I kept messing it up. We worked on it together, and I showed him some basic tool safety yet we still fell short of the goal. 

I also realized that not having the right tool makes it incredibly challenging to accomplish a task. I felt like I was trying to carve the details out of this car with a serving spoon. I just didn't have what it took to get the piece of wood looking like the Creeper it was meant to be.

We spent about 2 hours agonizing over the car - both of us having temper tantrums at different times - and at the end of it I was still short. He looked at me with his big eyes and said, "Dad, I guess we don't have to do it." His words pierced my heart, I felt like a failure. It hurt.

In that moment I remembered something that I preach often, but in this moment wasn't living. I remembered that we do life in community for a reason. We do life in community so that we can ask for help.

I also remembered that being equipped means using the tools we have and understanding that if we don't have the right tools it's okay to ask someone for assistance. I know that if that Pinewood Derby car wanted to talk about it's feelings I would have been Johnny on the spot, but when it came to this particular job, I fell a little short (and that's okay).

I asked for some help from an uncle and friend. He had the car fixed in less than 20 minutes. It was a bumpy road, but we got there together. Connor was happy, I was glad we spent the time together, and I even got to visit with a good friend. Wins all the way around, just needed to let my pride step out of the way.

Understanding what you do well is a gift, understanding what others do well and using them, that's wisdom. 

Relationship Challenge

Sit down with your spouse and talk about what each of you do well. Discuss how God has uniquely designed each of you to compliment one another. What is your favorite trait your spouse posses? What is your favorite trait that you posses? 


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