AUSTIN GUTWEIN

Founder of Hoops of Hope. Selected as one of the top 10 most "Caring Americans".
Author of Take Your Best Shot and Live to Give.

Fireworks and Craters

March 7, 2013

Fireworks and Craters

My buddy Dana has one of the nicest yards I've ever seen. Sure, it's partly because he lives in the beautiful, rainy, northwest but also because Dana spends his Saturday tirelessly working on his lawn. Pristine is the word I would use to describe it. All in all, his lawn was the bomb...literally.

Growing up in Arizona, it was always too dry to have fireworks that were anything bigger than a small noisemaker. So granted, when I interned with Washington based World Vision for the summer, and lived with Dana & his wife Grace, I was pretty excited to see what a firework really could do.

One night, while Dana & Grace were away, their son Jared and I decided to try out some of my recent firework purchases. I stuck the first motor down the launch tube and it quickly flew up into the air in a beautiful and patriotic flare. The second motor I stuck down the launch tube would prove to be a bigger explosion than the first.

Without knowing that I had stuck the motor in upside down, I lit the fuse. It created the loudest boom I had ever heard in my life and I quickly found myself using Jared as a shield. Instead of flying into the sky in the familiar patriotic flare, it went straight down into the ground, creating a huge crater in Dana's pristine lawn.

The crater left in the yard was filled with the remnant of the firework. As I stood looking at the hole, all I could do was be filled with remorse for putting the motor in upside down and ruining something Dana had worked so hard to perfect.

I have often found myself remorseful as I look back at some of the not so great or brilliant moments of my life. The truth is, my past has been full of mistakes and trails along the way. Some were even crater sized. But what are we supposed to do with our past and the various trials we endure? Are we truly supposed to forget them or is there a lesson in them?

Recently, I have felt God working on me in many ways. I know that everything He puts me through is for a reason and that God never wastes a hurt. Although I am not a fan of God teaching me the same lesson again and again, I realize if I haven't learned what He wants me to know, I need to be willing to go through whatever He puts me through as many times as He feels necessary.

God is shaping you and I for greatness. Your greatness could be just a moment away. That thing called the past? It's the past but no matter how many craters you've left along the way, God can use them to do something amazing in you. So carry on.

How has God used something in your past to shape your future?

In case you were wondering if craters be made into something incredible, check this one out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngorongoro_Conservation_Area 

Tags: Trials, Craters, Fireworks

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