Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What Kills the spirit

Tonight I did pick-ups for the teen girls' weekly Bible Study fellowship. My wife Sarah and Taryn Towers do a wonderful job loving on these young ladies on Tuesday nights. What I thought would be a quick first stop ended up in a conversation about how life changes directions.

Jay (not his real name), the boyfriend to one of the teen's relatives, informed me that the teen girl I was looking for was out of control and was not to be found. He related this situation to his life. His mom taught him a healthy fear of her authority. He would never do wrong in front of her or be disrespectful toward her. At the same time, he still allowed himself the option to do wrong when she was not around to see. Before he went through that door though, he had followed a good path. He was active in sports, especially football. He asked his mom to come to his games. She said that she was too busy or had too much work to do. He kept asking her. He pleaded with her to come to his games. She still would not come. Then he started missing practices, or he would go to practice but not really give it his all. He developed relationships with some guys who ran the streets. Finally, he gave up football. He got hooked to life on the streets--gangs and drugs. Eventually, he had to learn the hard way, serving time in the state penitentiary.

Upon reflecting on his mother's unwillingness to come to his football games, he said, "I don't know. I guess it just killed my spirit to play." You could feel the tender hurt in his statement. That was a big part of his life story. He sees now that he could have decided to play just for himself. Toward the end of the conversation, he said, "When I have kids, I am going to do all that I can to be there for them at their games, even if I have to lose my job or something." I believe him.


Terry said...

Your post reinforces my commitment to be the best father that I can be. Thanks, Bob.---Terry Laudett

Bob, Sarah, and Miriam Logsdon said...

You're welcome, Terry. It had the same effect for me. I was reminded of the power of doing the small stuff--well.--Bob

Bob, Sarah, and Miriam Logsdon said...

I recommend all people who are interested in urban issues to read Larry James' Urban Daily. Today (Wed., March 14, 2007) he has an articulate piece on youth and gangs at the following web address: http://www.larryjamesurbandaily.blogspot.com/
He likens the mindset of many youth when it comes to gang activity as a video-game experience. Very insightful. He also brings out the consumer mindset that saturates the hood as well as the lie that all drug dealers make it big. Actually I have heard that the chances of making it big as a drug dealer are about the same as a beauty pageant contestant winning it all among a field of hundreds of people. Only one "wins," and the rest lose.
Grace and peace.--Bob