FINDING THE FLAME (dedicated to the lacrosse girls)

finding the flame

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It’s a rare experience in life to look intensely into the eyes of a group of people and have their undivided attention, especially when they are young eyes. My eyes burn with passion and desire, not for me in this scenario, for them. Then a rare occurrence, they are hearing, they are listening, they are learning.

I remember the look in their eyes, full of life. They are excited, scared, fearless, worried, and motivated, all at the same time. They are learning about life in the form of a parable; playing a game… It’s been a while since I’ve been on a lacrosse field. I forgot how exhausting it is, not so much physically, but mentally.

To give what we have to others for their benefit is a calling of responsibility before God. The real giving of gifts we give aren’t just the handing over of an item or material gift, it’s leading others to strive to find and ignite the passion or flame that all of us have.

To watch that flame come to life in the eyes of a young person is the gift we get in return for our efforts. Those truly are the best gifts aren’t they? To have a right perspective in our lives is to cherish the gift of giving, even if we don’t get anything in return.

The ironic part of the whole scenario is that when we give of ourselves we are gratified and fulfilled from the inside… nothing on the outside can compare… If that’s not gift enough, often the ones we care and strive to help find their fire and some wisdom offer, a genuine “thank you.” It doesn’t get any better than that…

To gaze deep into the eyes of another younger soul and acknowledge them as an individual and have them know how special they are is the message God is sending out; each one of us are special. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best player in the parable of the game and how it relates to life.

The truth and understanding of our uniqueness and how special we are, even in the midst of a crowded school or planet, is the beginning of God’s truth; the first step toward Him. In the game of life, much like the parable of a game, we run the race – our race. It really doesn’t matter where we place as long as we run the path set before us by God.

As I watch the girls run the last sprint of the day, sweating, struggling to catch their breath, lungs burning, we demand more… and they get stronger. We don’t give it to them, God’s given it to them, we just help them find it… They run with all their might: I picture them taking off into life with the lesson they’ve learned about life on the lacrosse field – playing a game.

The last sprint is like our lives, the words yelled in emotion are the same for both… “This is the only one that counts”! – “This is your chance to get stronger”! – “Give it all now”! – “Leave it all on the field”!!! “On my whistle”!

And they begin… We’ve handed them the baton in the relay race of life…

May they run with honor while finding the flame.