Having just finished another season of coaching my son’s high school baseball team, I’m continually amazed by the amount I’m able to learn about his generation. Yes, I’m able to share wisdom and experience from my years in and out of the league, but it’s the unexpected lessons I learn from them that really surprise me.
There’s a huge difference between the way this generation seeks to learn and communicate with each other than what I experienced as a kid. But despite the different lifestyle they’re living today, I realize that what I have to share still can make an impact. It may be days, weeks or years later when we discover that something we said touched a kid’s life, or we may never find out, but the effort is worth the potential effect.
Recently, I went to speak to a friend’s high school leadership class. Throughout the time, I watched as some kids seemed totally disinterested. There weren’t a lot of questions for me at the end; I wasn’t even sure if I was communicating effectively at all.
At the end of the class, I went up to two kids who I noticed to be withdrawn, head-down and somewhat depressed. They did not look excited to be there, or living for that matter. But we chatted for five minutes after everyone else left, just about life and priorities. It turned out that one of the kids had just stepped into this “God” thing. He had started opening his Bible but wasn’t really sure where to go. As we talked, I shared with him that high school can be fun or miserable; you could just be focused on getting good grades and getting out. But in reality, we have to see everything with a bigger picture. Getting an education, a job and money is necessary for life, but if we put these things at the top of our list, we’ll be miserable. If we see things from an eternal perspective and take off the blinders of the immediate, our lives will be much more enjoyable and purposeful.
About a month later, his coach texted me to say this kid wanted to talk to me again. I shot the kid a text and soon we jumped on a call. He wanted to tell me he’d really been chewing on what I had said and that it had made a big difference in his life and walk with Christ.
I was shocked. There I was, thinking that those kids were sitting there miserable, not hearing a word of what I was saying in class that day. But I was wrong. Whatever it was they appeared to be that day, they had taken what I had to say to heart. At least this kid did, and that made it worth it.
Reflecting on this experience brings me to think about my efforts in the human trafficking world. We can put two whole months and a lot of energy and resources into rescuing just one girl from the industry. Is it worth it? That’s a no-brainer! If it was your child, wouldn’t you want someone to stop and help?
Whether it takes a moment or a lifetime to make a difference in someone’s life, it’s always worth it.
— Adam LaRoche, former MLB player
Adam LaRoche is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Adam’s profile on The Increase: http://theincrease.com/author/adam-laroche/
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