PROVE – CORRECT – ENCOURAGE
A teachable moment is an unplanned opportunity that provides a spiritual insight. It is rarely something for which you can plan. More likely, it’s a fleeting opportunity that must be sensed and seized or it will pass you by.
Taking advantage of teachable moments requires little training. It’s mostly a matter of being aware and ready to break in with appropriate action/discussion when you sense God has given you a chance to impact your children with His truth.
I like to think of teachable moments as God’s little gifts. We often refer to them as ‘ahaa moments.’ These little gems of truth drop into our fast paced lives, and if we’re not careful they slip out of our fingers, so to speak, before we can capture their beauty.
Here are some examples to add to the ones you’ve experienced.
- Your daughter has practiced a solo part with the help of a CD accompaniment so often the whole family can sing it. Then she comes home from school one afternoon, and one look at her face tells you she didn’t get the part.
- Your child shares a treat with a sibling without being asked.
- An uncle gets called to active duty and is sent with his Army unit to a dangerous place.
- Your daughter asks permission to accept her friend’s invitation for a ‘sleep-over’ on a Saturday night. You don’t know the friend’s family well.
- You’re in the supermarket parking lot and a woman comes up to you asking for money.
I think you get it. A teachable moment is giving the Holy Spirit permission to prompt you with a valuable opportunity to get a point across on a matter that is significant and character building.
Remember the story of Samuel and Eli? The boy, Samuel, asleep in the temple, hears God’s voice. Thinking it is Eli calling him, he wakes the aging priest who simply sends him back to bed. Finally, at the third interruption to his sleep, Eli gets it…indeed, a teachable moment! He sends Samuel back with instructions to follow when God speaks to him again.
I saw another great example while driving home one afternoon. At a busy intersection, waiting for the light to turn green, I noticed a man on a bench off to my right – clearly homeless. A young boy approached him, holding out a paper bag from a nearby fast food place; the boy’s mother was close behind. The man accepted the child’s offering. The light turned so I moved on. Don’t you wonder what led up to that young mom’s decision? Don’t you wonder what impact it had on her child? Don’t you wonder whether God nudged that man through a child’s gift to reach back in his thoughts to better times? I wonder…
And isn’t it great to realize that our Father, Creator of our vast universe, stoops down and drops teachable moments our way – helps us to cherish their reflection of eternity?