Sunday, October 21, 2007
A good time to blog. I am currently sitting on a hotel room bed, in Brunswick, GA at 10:11am on a Friday morning. Ogden Tabb and I drove a group of HS students down to watch the Evans High football team get beat up on by the Brunswick Pirates. It was a heart breaker of a game, but I have had a blast so far this weekend. The kids that were riding in my car got into a food/trash fight with another car in the caravan on the way down. I spent the better part of half an hour yesterday cleaning Zebra Cakes off of my windshield. But it was fun. Over the past 24 hours, I've been confronted with the reality of Young Life, and what kind of impact I now have the potential to have through it. Last night, Ogden and I stayed up until 4am with 7 or 8 high school guys, playing poker and watching Blood Diamond on HBO. The poker game itself was fun, if not drawn out, and full of curse words and expletives. As guys dropped out of the game, they slowly disappeared outside to smoke or worse. It was the trenches.
One of the guys told me something that stuck. He said that he loved Young Life camps because they let kids chew tobacco. Now, as I write that, I know what kind of flags it should throw up in righteous, God-fearing Christians' minds. It should be our goal as a ministry to keep high school kids from chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes, right? I mean, isn't the role of the church to keep people out of sin, and to tell all non-Christians what's wrong with how they are living? I've recently come to udnerstand that the answer to that is no. Strikingly, no.
It hit me, as I was lying awake in this hotel bed last night, that Jesus never told the people he touched to get rid of their sin, and then he would heal them, then he would free them, then he would save them. He even said that he had not come to save the righteous, but sinners. Kids need love, and I have been tasked with loving them. I am not asked to put limitatinons on my love. I am asked to love them wit a Christ-like love; which means no conditions, no minimum standards. Its not about accepting or not accepting lifestyles. Its all about accepting and loving people. And I love that we are in the business of loving people.