On a recent Friday evening on the Westside of Charlotte in one of the city’s most loving community based organizations I witnessed the power of love. It all started with a random email message from Colin, the executive director of the Harvest Center, requesting two volunteers to cook the pre-game dinner and one volunteer speak to the West Meck High football team.
My Fridays are usually reserved meetings with vendors, drafting content for our website, or sharing a cup of coffee with a business or faith leader. After reading the message I thought it wise to pause my day to get dirty in the kitchen for football. Sitting at my desk sending out emails to my prayer and financial partners I am interrupted by a visit from Colin. He says, “we need a speaker today . . . how about you? You have 15 minutes until the team arrives.”
My first sermon (well, short words of inspiration) is to deliver a rousing pre-game motivational talk to 50 high school football players.
Leaving my office, I walk down the hall to the dining room into the kitchen to find a chef and his helper busy making meals. Instead of preparing to speak I am dishing lasagna, mixed vegetables, and garlic bread into foam containers in stacks of five. Before we could finish passing out the meals Colin starts to introduce me. For a split second I feel the same brief nervousness I experience every Sunday morning when I embrace the splendor of the sacred desk (pulpit).
Don’t give up! For the next 10 minutes I share the story of a dog, a dog lover, and the unyielding drive of a dog sent to his death by the owner who loves him. The dog survives, because he understood that when life throws dirt on you it becomes imperative for you to shake it off and use the dirt as steps to help you climb up and into your liberty . . . success.
Looking into the eyes of these young men I decided to tell them about the story of Jacob’s unyielding motivation of not letting God go until He blessed him. Jacob did not give up. Instead, he concluded that if his circumstances were going to change he needed to wrestle with God until he found success. Using the dog and Jacob’s as examples of not giving up when under attack I told the football team to use the pain, hits, and challenges of the evening’s festivities as inspiration to fight until they win.
That night, the city of Charlotte witnessed a new powerhouse being born as the Weck Meck football obliterated their opponents to go 3-1 for the season.
Read this article from the Charlotte Observer: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/high-school/article101033217.html