Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Taking the Challenge

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a volunteer facilitator for the Putnam City North Challenge day which was sponsored by the Putnam City Schools Foundation The Challenge day program has been around for more than 20 years and recently became even more well known thanks to a feature program on MTV of a visit to PC West. The target audience for this amazing day was the freshman class which is one of the largest to attend PC North in several years.

It is hard to be a kid these days. This is something I am well aware of as a person that does a lot of work with youth. Having seen the show and spoken to a previous Challenge Days volunteer, I had a pretty good idea of how the day would go and the questions that would be presented. My initial guess was that most of the kids would have seen the MTV show and as a result would also have known what to expect. It turns out that I was still surprised of the result of the day. My surprise I would say was not near as great as that of the kids that were part of this day.

I was assigned to a group of five and was nervous about how we would connect. Looking into their eyes, I saw the potential of who they could be and at the same time felt deeply the pain of who they were (or at least thought they were). By the end of the day four of the five were in tears and expressed much about the challenges they were facing. I heard stories about broken relationships, broken hearts and broken dreams.

I could go on and on about the courage and first steps of change I saw but will save that for a later post. What I want to express for you today is the incredible opportunity we have to make a difference for these kids. Now is the time to look in the mirror and truly ask yourself what kind of parent and example you are being for your child. Are you doing all you can to support them? Do you love your spouse as you would hope your child would be loved someday? Are you as close to God as you would hope for them? When was the last time you asked your child about his or her dreams and then sat with mind and ears open to just listen?

Changing the world sometimes starts as simply as making changes at home and admitting our own fallacies.

My change starts now with my own son and wife. What about you? Will you join the challenge?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Who am I?

Who am I?

I took this picture recently at an OU football game. I don’t know of you have ever had a chance to see the new scoreboard there but the thing is HUGE.

Who am I?

This question struck me as I saw it blazing across the scoreboard. It reminded me of the many times in my life that suddenly I have found myself asking this question.

Who am I?

I have struggled with this most of my life and have actively sought through a variety of methods to answer the question. There have been many hours in prayer asking God and there have been assessments such as Disc and MBTI. (I am an INFP btw)

And yet I find myself asking…

I have finally come to the realization that self-actualization will never happen for me. I am indeed wired to question and to seek. I wish I knew why the Lord wired me this way. Why He chose to give me this driving desire to always question who I am and what His purpose is for me but in the end it does not matter since I am who I am.

Many people experience depression this time of year with the turn to winter, the holidays and of course the sad state of the economy. My prayer this week is that we all will experience a moment of true thankfulness. Don’t worry about who you are, who you were or who you are going to be. For a moment, just pause and be thankful without question.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving