Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life Lesson from a Teenager

Part of my job as a youth pastor is to watch kids at different events. Ranging from soccer games to swim meets. Today I had the chance to watch two of my favorite girls (Emma Tyler and Madison Haverty) pole-vault.
I got there during their warm ups and preparation prior to there actual jumps. It looked pretty fun, and also very hard. They got to do about 4 or 5 practice jumps and took time to work on there techniques. Emma asked one of her friends for help when she felt like her jump wasn’t the best. This process took about 20-30 min and then they started their judged jumps.
The bar was set up and you had to clear it at 6ft with out having it fall over to move on to the next height. A couple girls from other schools went and they had some real difficulty. Emma and Madison were not exception. They both scratched their first jumps, but I knew they just had to get rid of their nerves. Then they scratched their second, and then they scratched their third. You are only given 3 chances to move on to the next height and they missed all 3!
I was really sad when they didn’t land their last jumps. They have to wait around for a couple of hours to do their event and it can be over sooo quickly. As the girls walked over to me smiling a sort of defeated smile, I was thinking of some encouraging things to say. I started to say some nice things like you will do better next…and before I could finish Emma stopped me and said,


I told her, “I just want to say something encouraging to you guys.”

“You don’t have to TJ.” “If you have to tell us something, tell us we need to work harder and practice more.” With a smile on her face she said that, and I couldn’t help but smile to.

I was like WOW! That’s pretty simple. Tell us work harder and practice more, and maybe one day we will be good. I was looking for some empty words to comfort these girls, but what about straight forward honesty. Huh, what about that! How about you shoot me straight bucko. Wow what a thought to be honest with someone and they take it in a good light and see a way to better them selves. I learned a lesson from those girls today. Weather it was that a good friend just like the bible says in Proverbs 27:17 as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Or that honesty is as much a characteristic of God as love is I defiantly learned something today.
And as the week goes on and I go to an orchestra concert tomorrow, and a swim meet on Thursday, and a track meet afterwards, or freedom fire with a group of kids on Friday I will look for…

Life Lesson from a Teenager

PS: Maybe one day I will compile these lessons and put them in a little book as a reference, but until that day keep your eyes open ;)

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