Friday, October 06, 2006

Gotta love the punks!

If there is someone to blame... it would be Grandpa Gus or Dad. Both of them had/have soft spots for the punk kids, the kids that seemed to just get by, the ones no one really bothers, the kids that always seem tired, the ones that distract from the lesson, and yet they keep coming to seminary. The kids that slide into class, don't say a word, and slide out. Yes, I blame my love for the trouble-makers on Granpa and Dad!

So when I was asked to speak at a seminary morningside this morning I went looking for them...and sure enough there they were. They slid in just after the opening prayer and before I stood up. Three boys in the back that didn't want to move over when I asked them to--the ones on the third row in ties (loosend, of course). "It must be a game day" I say and they nod. That's when I decide this devotional will be for them.

So I shared some thoughts and ask the students to participate. I ask them about thier favorite principles from General Conference. Then a girl raised her hand and said something about God's love. So I ask everyone in the room, "How do you know God loves you?" After a few fantastic answers I look at my back rows joes and ask them directly...

At this point when the boys don't answer I think I would have normally moved on or said something to fill the awkwarness but teaching a year of seminary taught me differently. It is okay to wait. So I waited...I smile and then the boys started to talk and laugh nervously to one another and when they notice I wasn't going away one of the boys asked me to repeat the question, so I did. A few girls--probably feeling bad for the guys--answered and then I looked back at them. One of the boys finally said. "I know God loves me because of all the great opportunities He gives me." And there you have it! I think if my heart could smile it would have.

I know that those 40 minutes I spent with those kids this morning probably didn't do much, but that breakthrough-with those boys-was exactly what I needed. I agree wholeheartedly in what Elder Eyring said about teaching the youth of the church. He asked us to raise our expectations. I'm amazed what having high expectations and love can do to people.

PS one of the back row boys came up to me on his way out and said thanks and that he was sorry he didn't say more...he was tired. We talked football a little and he went on his way.

No comments: