By Jeff Becraft
When I was in middle school (although we called it junior high), my friends and I would have scrounges. If you don’t know what a scrounge is, we would stand around the lunch table and if someone had anything that was valuable (it was usually something to eat… like a candy bar, stick of gum, etc.), they would toss it into the middle of the table and then all of us would dive in and scrounge around for it and whoever came out with it, got to have it.
No girls ever hung around me or my friends.
But it had to be something of value. If someone threw a brussel sprout out there, nobody’s going in after that. Now if someone threw a piece of bacon on the table (bacon is my hobby), then it was all in… elbows flying and all.
When our son was in middle school, he basically said one night as we were getting ready for bed: “Dad, it seems like there are an awful lot of no’s in this life.”
I responded, “Well… for every yes, you are automatically saying no to a lot of other things. When I said yes to your Mama, I was automatically saying no to about two billion other women… That’s a lot of no’s for just one yes, isn’t it?” He nodded.
I then added, “But it is a glorious yes.”
Pick the glorious yes’s. Determine what is most valuable, what is most important.
A person was evaluating our society and culture over 40 years ago and stated, “We say no to nothing.” It is worse today. We say yes to everything.
Take some time to write down what is most valuable to you. What are the top 5 values you want in your life? What is most important to you over everything else? Then make your choices based on that.
When I was in high school and on into college, I made a lot of bad choices. Those choices and decisions were not based on my values or what was most important to me or who I was or who I wanted to be. I just wanted to fit in. To simply try and fit in is not a very glorious way to live.
On last Saturday, at our Leadership Day, a student named Jordan didn’t even want to do the climbing wall. He was terrified of heights. But through the encouragement of others, he got on the wall. He very tentatively got to about half way up. He then declared he was ready to come back down.
We encouraged him, “How about one more? Can you take one more step?” He did… and then the whole pit crew down on the ground jumped in and started yelling, “You can do it! Keep going! You can do it! Keep going!” Jordan went all the way to the top — 45 feet up in the air.
In order to go higher up the climbing wall, you have to let go of the rock that is lower in order to grab the rock that is higher. You have to say no to a lower rock in order to say yes to a higher rock. If you want to go higher, then you need to pick what is most valuable and what is most important. You can’t be grabbing every rock that comes along. You have to let go and say no to the lower rocks so you can reach up and grab the rocks that are more important so you can get to higher ground.
When you are 45 feet up in the air and you have said no to fear and yes to courage… that is a glorious way to live.
Make it a glorious day!
Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].