As the weekend comes many of us feel a sense of relief. Maybe there is a sense of excitement for the plans you have for Saturday and Sunday. Summer is still with us and there may be a few days planned away from the grinds of work. In some cases, maybe even the relief of your kids going to camp for a few days or the grandparents. Ah yes, life on life’s terms in this crazy little world we live.
In all our commotion and planning, excitement and busyness there are kids all around us that are not a part of a plan. Their summer may not have included trips or adventure. Single moms often struggle between work and keeping the kids active and safe during the summer. Boys become sedentary with video games and computers and it becomes habit, even addiction.
The World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to the 2018 version of its medical reference book, International Classification of Diseases.
Culturally video games are here to stay. I am not opposed to some time spent playing them, limited of course. My real fear is social media and the internet. Exposure to porn and harsh social ideas and peer ideals are brutal.
Recently I took a group of boys, 15-17, to the mountains. On the way up they were pretty tuned into their phones. I had them off and on occasionally for conversation but did not enforce a “No phone” ban. Interestingly, once in the mountains there was no signal but I saw them holding and looking at them. That is when I removed them (their phones) from the equation. I could see the slow social detox and then what seemed a complete relief in their spirit. It was amazing. That was when they became open to real conversation, heart felt moments.
So my challenge to you is, can you grab a kid and take them with you? Your kids know who is without a dad, you know the kid next door, your wife knows who, your daughter knows who. You do not have to travel to Zambia to find little boys who are in hard and broken places. They are in your church, neighborhood, on your kid’s team. Why would we not take care of them?
Oh and by the way, it does not have to cost a bunch of money. A KOZ Saturday meeting cost a handful of hot dogs, mustard and some buns. Taking that boy to Home Depot or the movies with your family, then pizza. It can be simple for you but it will be profound to them.
The longing for our hearts to make a difference will never go away. We can ignore it, cover it with busyness or self-indulgence but it is there because when we asked Jesus into our hearts, the Holy Spirit came. He lives in us and that is what you feel.
If you want more information on KOZ or want to talk about, “How do I do this?, What is next?, call me. I want to help.
Founder: Kids Outdoor Zone (KOZ)
Author: Year 13
Year 13: A wounded boy’s journey to manhood and ministry
by TJ Greaney