Jumping Into The Cage

Jumping Into The Cage

by David Acker, KCC Youth Minister
I’ve watched Shark Week on the Discovery channel since I was in high school. I have always enjoyed it and been so intrigued by great white sharks. One of the episodes this year included Shaquille O’Neal overcoming his fear and swimming with sharks. They had to sew about four wetsuits together and make a custom cage to make this happen for this legendary NBA center.
A lot of these shows seem to be pressing on to this big moment at the end and this ever pressing danger only to just end the show. They talk about all the danger that they are about to face but sometimes in the same conversation talk about how sharks are just misunderstood.
Now my dream is to climb in that cage and see the biggest, gnarliest, war-torn, beast of a shark I can.┬á But if and when that day ever comes, I know I am going to be so nervous to jump into that cage. What if the cage fails? What if the cage doesn’t work? What if the boat sinks? Alright the last question probably isn’t realistic but when we are faced with something we can make up those excuses. Because at the end of the day, this could potentially be a life or death moment. I can understand these moments, I can appreciate them. Before I was married, I pushed the limits of what I could accomplish all the time. Then when my wife had our son, something happened. I started to take stock of a lot of the adrenaline rushes I would look for. All of a sudden my life looked a lot more important to me then it ever had. I had to really understand what I would be committed to and what I wouldn’t be.
The early church and the movement they started had to be life or death. They were facing persecution by simply joining the church. In some parts of our world, that is still the case. They didn’t have time to allow for division in the church, or how their service would flow. They met together and broke bread and every need was met among them. It was not a choice of comfort or ease, but they knew it was worth it.
I began praying for our student ministry intentionally every day the beginning of this year. I was asking God to show me how to lead and connect in order to develop students who have a heart to live their life for Jesus. I still am asking that. I was told by a few people in our community about coaching soccer for the high school and how the position was open. My immediate response was not a chance. The timing just wasn’t there. Then one day, I woke up and stared at my wife and told her I needed to coach. I didn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. To my wife’s unbelievable faithfulness and support of me, she agreed it would be a good thing. She is the heartbeat of anything good I do. A couple months later, and I had been offered the job and I accepted.
I’m excited to coach and use a lifetime of soccer knowledge to help grow that culture here in Kalkaska but I am even more excited to be able to step out of the church building and have a foot in our community. I have a God sized vision for coming alongside our student athletes and hopefully in turn coming alongside our entire school community.
I believe at KCC, we haven’t even scratched the surface of our potential. What do you need to dive into? What are you passionate about? What keeps you up at night? It might not be a choice of comfort or ease but it will be worth every second you invest in. The only investment that will last for eternity is the one that we make in other people.

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