Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
It was February 2nd, 1996. At recess Mr. denBoer stepped outside the schoolÕs building into the cold weather. The ÒBig ChillÓ hit him as he walked to the portable classroom. ÒOh no!Ó he thought when he saw the Grade 6 children playing on the snow hill. ÒTheyÕre at it again!Ó He saw the blood spots on the snow, trailing to the portable. John got a bloody nose yesterday from playing ÒKing of the hill.Ó

The children in the game would struggle to get to the top of the snow hill. They would push, shove and wrestle to get there. The ÒkingÓ was the boy or girls who reached the top. He or she, of course, would have to fight off anyone who tried to push his/her off to become the new ÒKing of the hill.Ó

Mr. denBoer didnÕt like the spirit of this game. The children were getting rowdy and downright mean. He walked toward them. Then he noticed Jan sitting on the portableÕs steps, hunched over, holding his stomach. ÒWhat happened, Jan?Ó he asked. ÒSomebody punched me,Ò he replied.

Mr. denBoer turned to the children playing on the hill. He looked up at them. He held out his arm and made the gesture of pinching his finger and thumb. ÒGuys!Ó he yelled, ÒIÕm this much from stopping the game!Ó

ÒWeÕre only playing,Ó the children yelled back! ÒNobodyÕs getting hurt. ItÕs fun!Ó

Mr. denBoer ignored their remarks. He watched them play. The back of the snow hill had a steep cliff. He imagined someone being pushed off the cliff landing on his neck.

The cold winter chilled his head and Mr. denBoer decided to go inside to warm up for a few minutes. As he left to enter the school, he heard someone say, ÒGood, heÕs leaving!Ó

When he returned outside he saw Larry with Craig. Larry was spitting blood into the snow when Mr. denBoer rushed to help him. ÒWhat happened?Ó he asked Larry. ÒSomebody kicked me and I chipped my tooth!Ó Larry showed him a large piece of his tooth. This time Mr. denBoer was angry. ÒI want everyone off the hill!Ó he shouted. The children knew he meant it, so they scattered away like rabbits to play somewhere else.

Today it is February 20th, 1996. The ÒBig ChillÓ is over. The weather is much warmer and only a small piece of snow is left of the large snow hill. The game is over, but it is not over in real life. What the children played is what millions do in homes, classrooms, neighbourhoods, churches, cities, and countries. Many struggle to become ÒKing,Ó to be the toughest, richest, most powerful, and yes, even the ÒholiestÓ among those theyÕre with. They struggle and push in many ways to get the honour they crave so much. The weakest are left on the bottom with wounds that show. The ÒhillÓ is so deceiving because, like the snow hill, honour will soon melt away.

It reminds me of another hill, the hill by the Sea of Galilee. Our Lord Jesus Christ sat on the hill and preached a sermon (Matthew 5-7). He began by teaching about those who are blessed by God. He does not bless the toughest, richest, smartest, and most powerful. He blessed the poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and those persecuted for His sake. Our Lord taught another way and He showed it too. That way is to become lost, to serve rather than to be served, and to seek honour from God rather than from people. In fact, He went so low as to die on the cross for sinners. He is the King of the hill and more than that, the King of the whole universe! He tells us: Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Children, what honour are you seeking? How is your pride driving you to do what you do? ThatÕs a rough, tough game to play and many are hurt playing it. Pay attention to these words: God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble (James 4:6b). Only the meek will inherit the earth.

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