Getting entrenched in life is something that I highly recommend.
However, it’s not so good if you hope to keep your blog current. And for those who have been checking daily, weekly, monthly, or centennially….I’m back now and hope to get my blog groove on. At least for now. We’ll see.
Maybe I should rename my blog to “We’ll see.” It reminds me of the intramural basketball teams I led in college; one year our team name was “Maybe next year” and another year our team name was “Yeah…whatever.” We wore plaid button-up shirts with the sleeves cut off. Collars and everything. We took all the players the other teams didn’t want. We were terrible. It was great.
So, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been immersed in our annual middle school mission trip and all the details revolving around that. All in all, it was a fantastic experience. We took a new step in our leadership development plan this year and took along high school student leaders who I have worked with over the past year. I can confidently say that they brought SO much to the table as it relates to influencing our middle school students. Even as young and spry as I am, middle schoolers consider me “old” (anything over 25 qualifies), so having high schoolers whom they idolize speak into their lives for the week did immeasurable good. No doubt about it, Student Leaders rock.
We had an interesting thing happen one night while on the trip. If you’re up for a quick story, read on.
We had rented a YMCA camp for the week and spent most of our time there. But with one of our “sister” churches right up the road, we thought it’d be fun one night to have a change of scenery, and take our students there for some dodgeball. The youth pastor there was totally down with it and asked if he could invite some of his students to join in. I’m a “the more the merrier” kinda guy, so I thought that was a great idea.
We arrived at the church and as we began to gather all the students together, I noticed that their students looked more like high school and even college age or perhaps even inmates. (reminder: our students were middle schoolers). I thought to myself, “No biggie, I’m sure it’ll be fun.”
As one of their youth leaders began to explain the rules, I noticed that “head shots” were allowed. “No biggie”, I thought. “I’m sure it’ll still be fun.”
Then it was decided that we’d have a church vs. church battle for round one. This is where I should have stepped in but didn’t. Because after all, “No biggie, I’m sure this will be fun and a healthy competition.” I still had no reason to believe otherwise.
At the sound of the starting whistle I learned exactly what kind of nightmare we were in for.
Remember that rule that “headshots are allowed”? Well, it turns out that’s pretty much all they threw. And when I say “threw”, I mean “shot” or “launched”. I’m not joking–I’ve NEVER seen dodgeballs move that fast. Within seconds I had a few of our students in tears, gripping the side of their head, and all of our students looking like the proverbial “deer in the headlights” Leaders were consoling the casualties (which turned out to be more in shock than in pain). The game didn’t last long, even though we outnumbered them almost 2 to 1. As it turns out, a 6th grade girl is no match for a 22 yr. old man when it comes to dodgeball.
Leaders came up to me, voicing their discomfort with the situation, but I barely heard any of that because I was mentally rehearsing a) the earful I was about to give the other youth pastor and b) the angry phone calls I would receive Monday morning after we get back.
After speaking with the youth pastor and voicing my concern in no uncertain terms, he apologized and assured me there was no intention to harm, and that we should mix up the teams and even them out. I could not have agreed more.
(I’ll say here that there really was no malicious intent from the other team, they were just really REALLY good at dodgeball! We still love them and many of our kids have dedicated the next year to training and steroids, looking forward to a rematch!)
After we evened out the teams, most of my students actually BEGGED to keep playing, even after 3 more rounds.
This was a situation where no one was “wrong” per se; we just had 2 very different approaches to the same game. And I also learned that their students play dodgeball religiously every time they get together.
That would explain the special shoes and the tattoos.
So, since returning from that trip, I’ve been sleeping, reminisching, and thanking God for the fantastic time that we had. Hopefully that explains my absence from blogging as of late.