In 2005 I was in South Africa listening to a very well-educated young woman speak to me about the future demise of their next generation. Most of the adults had already died from AIDS, leaving the children to fend for themselves. I ask you, how does our society differ?
We have a North American disease that is picking off both adults and young adults, and leaving our children to fend for themselves. It is called APATHY. This disease is rampant, both in our community, and our churches. This disease does not put us six feet under immediately, at least physically, but spiritually – absolutely! We don’t need pills to combat this disease, but there is a high cost. A cost that is going to obliterate our nation’s future and suffocate any signs of hope for THE family.
We religiously sponsor children in other countries, to save their lives. Don’t get me wrong, this is a generous thing to do and we should do it. I suggest, if you are sponsoring a child right now, look around your neighborhood and get involved with a family right here, in your own home town, over and above your sponsorship.
Many choose sponsorship because relationship is not required. Now this isn’t true for all of the sponsor organizations or sponsors involved, but if we are to be brutally honest with ourselves, and how we buy into our culture, it is – money first, relationships later, if at all – unless there is something in it for us. This is who we really are.
We have programs that run over the school year, and camp programs throughout the summer, many designed to emphasize mentor-ship. But all too often, once the program ends, so does the relationship.
Oh, I can hear you – “what’s wrong with the kid’s parents?”. Take a good look in the mirror and ask that question again? None of us are perfect and we should all be so blessed to have someone interested in walking along side us and our children, whether we’re parenting or teaching, coaching a sports team, or listening to the birds sing.
So what’s the cure for our disease? How can we change so that our children will grow into strong caring individuals, full of purpose and joy?
One on one relationships. Getting to know Jesus is the best one on one relationship there is. If you catch a glimpse of His commitment to you, you will want to commit to him. He’s going to ask you to love people. Watch for his lead, listen for his voice. Guaranteed – he’s not going to give you an impossible task, and He isn’t going to wait for you to become perfect. He’s going to ask you to get involved as you are, and love others as they are, and together we will learn who He is.
Sarah Young tells us in “Jesus Calling” that a “mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control”. Connect instead!
No matter where you work, no matter where you play, or what program you’re involved in, find someone to mentor, and commit. This isn’t a trial drug, this is a cure we’re talking about. You must be willing to commit for life. Think about it, we commit to a whole lot of stuff, except for people?
The big picture is too overwhelming, so remember – one on one connections is the best place to begin!