August 25, 2010

I Almost Chickened Out

I really wanted to name this post "I nearly wet myself" but figured that might draw too much negative attention. But that would probably be closer to the truth in this situation.

Yesterday, I visited a high school with the specific intent of spending time with students. This is a product of my post last week. I have meant to make this a priority, but never did anything with it and yesterday was the day. And for some reason this was going to be a mountain to move for me.

I've been to high schools many times. While students were there nonetheless. But I have never spent time in the lunch room. Seriously, I left Wawasee one time in order to avoid the lunch room (Yes, I am claiming "coward" status here). It's just a place that has this intensity to it that I just didn't feel ready for. Not to mention all the regulations that schools seem to have on the precious food service center, I just didn't want to mess with it. I have to be completely honest, my hesitation to go prompted me to miss the first lunch period yesterday. But at least I went!

The experience proves something quite valuable. It made me much more empathetic towards many more students.

See here's the deal. Each week, I am part of a culture that pushes for regular attendance in an environment that usually seeks to push us out of our comfort zone for a normal human being that has been born into sin. I ask students to enter a place that has such an intensity to it, that many refuse to enter. And this week is no different.

Tonight is our official Wednesday Night Kickoff and we've really pushed for the invitation to make it to many students that may have never even considered darkening the door of NMC. It's intense. For a lot of these students, they can't even stand the thought of going inside a church; even just to watch a movie.

So here's a plea to those that have been invited and maybe some words of wisdom:
I know that it is intense. I know that you might be thinking that you might be judged, challenged or misunderstood. I know that this might be a pretty big deal for you. But really, what do you have to lose? Maybe think of it this way: What do you have to gain?

I recognize now the intensity that even pulling into the parking lot brings for many students. I've experienced it firsthand. But there is something...errr... someone on the other side that is ready to answer your questions; ready to walk alongside you. Ready to give you hope and a future. Give me 2 hours. I think you'll be surprised.

See ya tonight. I'm really excited to see all of you!



Shelley said...

You really need to get over your fear of school food. Just kidding. It was good seeing you there. School cafeterias are a war zone for students emotionally. Will I have anyone to sit with? Will someone make fun of me? Will that bully bug me again? and my personal problem: Will I get food on my shirt? There is such a pecking order?caste system in middle & high schools, and it all begins in the cafeteria.

Geoff Cocanower said...


I know... I need to get over myself :)

It's interesting. Rivaling sporting events, the lunch room might be the most accurate study of the social make-up of the entire school.

I'm sure that I'll be there again!