I’ve started to realize that I have had a vision for our league and these boys for a very long time, but I haven’t really had a chance to share where God is moving and why. Now, is as good a time as any, so I figured I’d let you in on where God has been leading me and how I think that plays itself out into our ministry.
I have found that over the years, the kids we work with are very (overly) selfish. This sounds negative, but realistically, it’s an insanely good survival tactic and defense mechanism. When you grow up in a terrible situation, you have to look out for yourself, you’re the only one you can trust. The problem is, it builds up terrible habits that become ridiculously hard to break. Those habits are what breed abusive relationships and some addictive behaviours. It “works” in a survival situation, outside of that it can create real lasting problems.
Most parents are probably thinking “Well, you might think they’re selfish, but you don’t know my kids.” Well, having interacted with both demographics… maybe, but there’s a difference between throwing a temper tantrum because you don’t get dessert and robbing someone to stop from going to bed hungry. Some need catering, others just want to eat. Either way, we have to kill these habits. When Jesus came to this planet He tossed everything upside by saying things like “Whoever tries to find their life will lose it and whoever loses their life will find it.” People say “It is better to give to receive,” and this is what Jesus is talking about.
I want these kids that I work with to find life. Real life. Not the earn a big pay check, buy a big house drive a nice car kind of life, but being the selfless, caring, trusted man kind of real life. We find the most life and greatest joy when we give ourselves to another. When we become dependable and trustworthy. When we can bless others with, our gifts, passions, talents and ideas.
A pretty sweet moment for me last year, was when a 9 year-old kid was playing mini-stick hockey with pants that were way too long. I watched a 13 year-old kid call him over get down on his knees and roll the kid’s pants up for him. Some people look for huge events of success when they work with people. That was a massive moment for me to see. If you knew the homes these guys came from and how hard it was for them to humble themselves, you’d feel the same.
When I see these kids serve, it means that something radical and amazing is happening in their hearts. It means that the Holy Spirit is beginning that good work within them in which He will carry onto completion. You’d think this is a common type of thing, but these moments are rare. These kids are wounded and need real heart transformation. Good thing I believe in a God that loves these kids and performs miracles. It’s the only hope I have for seeing real change in these kids.