Wagers, Cheerwine, and slapping 15-year-olds

I got to slap a 15-year-old three times on Saturday.

Hard.

Right in the side.

And it was awesome.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention, let me explain myself. I was out with two of my freshmen playing disc golf at one of the local courses. We had played one round (9-hole course) and were starting a second round. We decided to make it a little more interesting and put a few “wagers” on it. If one of the guys beat me, he didn’t have to pay me back for lunch that day. If he lost, he owed me $10 instead of the $7 that it cost. If the other guy beat me, I owed him a milkshake. If I beat him then he owed me a milkshake.

Pretty fair wagers in my opinion.

We’re all tied through three holes. On the fourth hole, one of the guys throws his drive and it takes a really unlucky bounce. He asks if he can have a mulligan.

And I smiled.

You see, we play unlimited mulligans whenever we play. However, you have to pay for mulligans. The fee for them is one slap to the back/side with the non-dominant hand.

I smiled because I got to do the slapping.

I wound up and pulled back and bam, right in the side. It had a good pop behind it and me and the other freshman got a good laugh out of it. We finished the hole and moved onto the next one. Once again, on his drive, that same guy had an unlucky throw.

And he asked for a mulligan.

And I smiled again.

We finished up the round. He ended up asking for three mulligans. He also ended up beating me. Both of them did actually. We decided to trade in the milkshakes for Cheerwine since the one who got slapped had never had Cheerwine before. After getting our delicious goodness from the store, we headed back to one of their houses to hang out.

Liberty was playing so I of course convinced them to let me watch that game. After having them make fun of me because Liberty lost so bad, we went outside and were just being dudes throwing some type of ball around and being stupid. We were talking about this and talking about that when one of them randomly dropped this line:

I wish today was Sunday so we could have (small) group tonight.

Whoa.

When you work with students you never know what sinks in and what doesn’t. You never really know if they’re paying attention during small groups or listening to what you say in conversations with them. You hope they listen but you can’t ever tell. Then they throw out little lines like, “I wish today was Sunday so we could have group” without thinking and it makes it all worth it.

It really makes you want to walk away with a giant smile half screaming for joy and half crying from relief but you can’t do that because that would just be weird.

I’m constantly amazed at how God will always reassure me whenever I start questioning things. Sometimes I wonder if I’m spending too much time doing the planning and tech things to make things go smoothly and then I hear a random comment from a student or leader about how good things look or how well something was executed. Then other times I will wonder if I’m spending too much time hanging out with students and not being in the office only for them to drop a line like “I wish we had group tonight.”

God always reminds us and encourages us when we’re doing what he wants us to be doing.

This week, as you go to work, go to school, or go wherever it is you may be going, be on the look out for those encouragements. Sometimes they’re easy to miss but when you find them, they make your entire week better.

Mine was one sentence in the middle of four hours of hanging out and goofing off.

What is yours going to be?

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