Posted by: Matt Norton | May 11, 2009

SOCCER!!

Last week Kerry, my friend and I pulled into Jeff Street around 9:30 pm after going to Community Group.  I had thoughts of heading up to the apartment, reading a book and then hitting the hay.  As I got out I noticed that we had a soccer ball in the van and I decided I should bring it up to the apartment.

When I got out of the van my friend saw the ball and motioned for me to pass the ball.  We started to kick the ball around in the parking lot and all the residents who were sitting outside smoking cigarettes took interest.  What happened next really surprised and encouraged me.  There were five or six residents who got up and wanted to play.  I was surprised not because they wanted to play soccer (ok that sort of surprised me because there don’t seem to be many soccer fans here in Louisville) but because these men who often sit around smoking cigarettes all day in a sedated stupor were energetic and giddy like little school girls playing hop scotch.  They wanted to play and be involved.  They broke out of their trance and were part of our unique little soccer group.

We passed the ball around for 30 minutes and they seemed to really enjoy themselves.  It was great to see liveliness in the guys and all it took was a ball and same willing players.  It was that simple, but it makes me ask myself why don’t we do that more often.  Why is it that with these guys who have a huge excess of free time don’t organize other such times to interact with others?  I don’t have the answer, but I just pray that a few guys with enthusiasm, initiative and perseverance start putting groups together to build community.

It’s so easy for us to isolate ourselves and dwell on our problems and situations, often to our detriment; however, with a little more effort and courage we can grow and build relationships enriching our lives and taking the focus off ourselves.  Although there is the risk (almost guaranteed) of pain and difficulty when in community with others it (when done to God’s glory) will grow us in character to look more like Christ Jesus.

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