Updated: May 28
There was a time in my life when I just knew I needed a change. But I didn't know what to do, so I just prayed...
I want you to look at this picture above. Seriously look at it. The person is on top of a mountain with a pic in their hand and they are swinging at the mountain. How did they get there? Where did they come from? What job do they have? What were their parents like? Who is the person with enough guts to get up on that mountain top and take the picture?
“When I look at this picture I wonder...who are they and how did they overcome to stand on that mountain?"
For me This happened when I was a young boy learning to play soccer. Each year my father would be the coach of one of his children's soccer teams. This year he was my soccer coach. My father is an amazing man. He loves God and always tries to do the right thing. However, at that time in my life I did not feel like my father loved me.(This is nothing to do with him and everything to do with my perception of his love). He works very hard to provide a place for us to live. He taught us to read the Bible and worship God. Demonstrating a hard wok ethic he provided the necessary food and clothing for us. In actuality the real problem was that I had pushed away God's love and filled my heart with lesser loves. So, God the Father was trying to draw me away (into His love), and show me how much He loved me.
The soccer kick that changed my life forever.
At the start of the soccer year my father told me it was now time for me to learn to take a left footed corner kicks. I am not left footed naturally.Therefore, I would really have to try to overcome to learn how to kick left footed. My father told me that if I kicked with my left foot there was a potential for me to score when I was on that particular side. Strangely, for some reason I got it inside of my head, "If I scored maybe my father would be proud of me, and then he would love me."
So, I practiced and practiced kicking with my left foot. I was so obsessed that I even practiced at home when I got home from school. I would bring my ball outside in the backyard and set up to garbage cans. Then I would pace off the distance to the goal, and practice kick after kick. My goal was a perfectly arching shot placed into the top back corner of the goal. I did everything I could in my power to make the big shot and then receive love from my dad. And then the day finally came when my dad said, "Today you will take your first left the corner kick."
I was so excited. Here I was ready to take my first big kick. All the work I have put into it with now amount to something. My dad would love me. (I know this seems strange but stay with me). There I was on the soccer field. The goalie was set up. The defenders were in position. Our forwards were ready to attack. All the parents were watching. But the only eyes I cared about was my fathers'. I ran up to the ball, brought my leg back, and kicked with all my might. It was amazing the ball popped off my foot, sailed through the air, and curved right into the top corner--for a score.
Cheers irrupted! I ran straight to my father, hoping beyond all hope, that he would know love me. I gave him a great big hug, and said, "I scored." He laughed and said, "a better goalie would have stopped it." Now before you condemn my dad. The goalie was maybe 4 feet tall. I have no idea why the other coach had picked this person to play goal, as we easily could kick the ball over their head.
"I stood there speechless...I thought my Dad didn't love me."
Everything inside me was in pain. A lump of rejection was blocking the air in my throat as I thought, "My own father doesn't love me?" This was what was running through my mind. However, of course my father loved me, but my heavenly Father was trying to teach me an important lesson. What was the big lesson? That I could not work to earn God's love. My Father in heaven already loved me. You see I was trying to do good works, practice kicking a soccer ball, in order to get my father to like me. God the Father is a good Father. We don't have to do good works for Him to love us. I learned a valuable lesson that day that I can in turn share with my kids.
And that is a big part of discipleship. When we learn lessons that are all around us, allowing God, to train us up, and then sharing these experiences with others.That's what I want to do with Holy Clubs. I would love for you to take time to go through are different discipleship plans, and see which is best for you for and your church.