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Trying to Grow Up

For those of you that are curious. Monday night went amazing. We had over 100 young adults show up and I think they really enjoyed themselves. There were a bunch of problems (of course) like we started an hour late and it was hotter than the tip of the sparkler that I burnt myself on at the baseball game today but overall the night was a success. We ended up being only negative seventy-five bucks after everything. So we’re all looking forward to the next one now. Now, change of subject.

I remember a few years back, probably around three or four, when Darryl and I had a talk. It was one of those talks that I knew was going to come but probably self-consciously delayed it. When we finally had it, and then we came to a decision. It kind of went something like this.

D: It’s time we grow up.
N: Ya, I think you’re right. But do we have to now?
D: Ya, we do, too many students look up to us and could take what we do and take it one step further.
N: Ya, you’re right, it’s already happening in a few of them, they are way crazier than we ever were and sometimes a little overboard.
D: So we’re really gonna do it, aren’t we?
N: I think so, let’s do it.

We were talking about a number of things. We did a lot of stupid stuff; we considered ourselves the sanctified version of Jack Ass. We would yell at people while driving by, never cursing or anything, but just yelling random things. We would throw eggs at people and water balloons. We would stage fights or blow up things. We would stuff people in Good Will containers and throw things back at people or do the milk challenge in public venues. We would make people so mad at us, and make it into a game to see how quick we could make them leave. We would light toilets on fire in front of people’s house. The point is, every night when we needed something to do; we would make some kind of trouble somewhere. We never got in trouble with the cops or anything, we just had fun.

We started bringing out some of the younger guys with us on our adventures, and they continued. We always had a video camera; we liked to show off our success. Then the guys we were with started to go off on their own on their own adventures. They turned a little sour. I won’t go into details, but things weren’t the same as they were.

This is why we decided we needed to grow up. Even though we weren’t doing the things they were doing, we both felt somewhat responsible for their actions. So we needed to stop. We learned the hard way that sometimes followers don’t follow exactly, most of the time when they start to think more for themselves, they will take it to the next level.

This is true with a lot of things in life. I don’t think we understand how many people look up to us in life. I am doing Day Camp at Temple Baptist this year. All I have is a twenty minute slot where I act like an idiot for fifteen minutes, hurt myself for three and share a message from Christ in two. You wouldn’t believe how much attention I get for being a leader for twenty minutes. I can only imagine the leaders that are with the kids from nine to five.

We are all being watched. Are we living lives worthy of repeating? Not to discredit the fact that we mess up. Welcome to my life. However, I do want to lead the best possible way that I can. Most of that time that means living a life worthy of a leader even if you have no idea or not if someone is following. A life above reproach. I just don’t want some kids to start getting thrown in jail or something because I thought it was funny to video tape myself mouthing off to some man.

We all need to learn to be the kind of leader that shows people what it is to live for Christ. So that when they start to move on from your leadership and they move beyond where you are they aren’t getting worse, but improving. The way I see it is a good leader can be judged after the followers are all gone, then look at the lives of the followers. A leader will be able to show the followers how to move beyond themselves, because a good leader is never focused on themselves. They are focused on a person beyond themselves; Christ. We need to be leaders that point to Christ, beyond ourselves, so that even if we mess up, they are looking at Christ’s example anyway. Help me to be that kind of leader God, one that isn’t about myself and wanting them to be more like me but helping them become more like Christ.

One Comment

  • I never thought of the daycampers wanting to mimic our actions, as them observing us as much as they do, but reflecting on the day I can see what you mean.

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