Tonight I am going to do something I’ve never done before. Afterwards I will think about whether I ever want to do it again! I am going to join a bunch of other old geezers (I’m still a geezer in training, but they counted me anyway,) on donkeys to play basketball against a bunch of High School students. It’s a fundraiser for the local FFA Chapter. It puts me in a theological conundrum of biblical language proportions: If I get thrown, do I fall off my ass or on my ass?
Off my ass, definitely—otherwise my ego will be absolutely too wounded to enjoy it, and I intend to have a terrific time. It’s not about my ass, it’s about the kids. It’s about raising honest money for a good organization. FFA is so much more than just raising rabbits for the fair. It’s about leadership skills, self-discipline, poise and social confidence, teamwork and honesty and looking into the future past than the next Friday night party. I will gladly risk my ass for that!
There’s something inside me that loves these kids even though I don’t know most of them. It’s not so much that they are the future of the nation, though that is true. It’s more that somehow each one of them represents something of the image of God in the world by their very creation, something too holy and precious to waste that makes each of them pricelessly important. Yes, they will make mistakes in life. No, they won’t always live up to that image. But that does not derail the potential of that image any more than our selfishness derails the potential for good in the world.
Their future is worth a bruised ego!