One of the saddest parts of the recent crime wave is the missed potential.
I look at my children, teenagers, and think of what they could be. I keep going back in my mind to what those kids could have been doing. Because I’m a dreamer, I think they could have been more. Athletes or artists or scientists or mathematicians or poets or pastors. They missed out because someone didn’t teach them. Someone didn’t tell them they could be more than thugs who start/participate in a riot. Where are their positive role models and mentors? We all ask those questions. It’s evidenced by so many immediately placing blame on the parents.
This post is not a declaration that these kids are past help.
They still have potential. They absolutely do. None of us are defined solely by our mistakes. This isn’t the end of the road. So much of the outraged response has led to people calling for their execution. How glad I am for second chances..and third and fourth and. . .(see Matthew 18:21-22). Who’s to say they are past hope? I’ve been in hopeless situations that were completely changed because of Christ. He is our rock and salvation. He doesn’t shift and change or withdraw His offer of redemption when we fail. As long as we are drawing breath, there is hope. No, it’s not fair. It’s MERCY. Praise Him!
Then, I think about my own church.
A sweet fellowship of believers. Filled with people who, like me, are thankful for the grace and mercy God pours out on us. We lift our voices in worship to Him week after week. But, week after week, our pastor begs for people to serve. The day after news of this crime broke, he told (again) of boys in need of men to lead them. Children’s ministry has a wish list for volunteers that seemingly never ends. A great majority of those who serve in children’s ministry are women. Kids need men, too. What if some men who love and live for the Lord came into their lives and invested in them? What if some men decided to pour their time and energy into their lives? What could they become? Oh, the possibilities!
Please, don’t read this and see me pointing fingers. I’m not bashing men or singling them out. Women should totally be investing in other women (Titus 2:3-5). We all must make room in our lives. Yes, that means something has to go so we can look out for others (Philippians 2:3-4).
Am I going to star in my own short story that no one will ever remember, or will I become a supporting actor in a bigger play no one will ever forget?
I know because someone showed me. I know what overflowing joy comes when I give of myself. My heart’s desire is not to guilt or guile anyone into serving. I want others to grow in their love of Christ, living lives “worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way” (Colossians 1:10-14). This past week, Nick Harville made a beautiful point from the life of Gideon: God doesn’t want us to rely only on stories about Him in other’s lives. He wants to give us our own story! One that shows His glory, name, and power in us! (check out Judges 6:13-14)
So, rather than shake our heads or call for blood while hiding behind the safety of our keyboards. Let’s do something. Let’s invest in eternity. I think you could be more.
Will you imagine with me?