During the day of our big annual event, a Lord’s Acre, this past Saturday, I received news that one of our youth had run away the day before.
Our Director of Student Ministries jumped on it, contacting folks and catching up with family members. I interspersed prayer into the other events of the day I to which I was committed.
By that evening I had received word the youth was safe, and taking some steps toward returning to normalcy.
Whenever I would pause and pray, I kept getting drawn back to a class in seminar. It was my first Joy class. By “my first Joy class,” I mean my first class with Dr. Don Joy Here is a bio, written by a seminary classmate of mine who now teaches at Asbury Seminary.
Dr. Joy taught us about our trampoline. Or let me put it this way: he had us all look at our own life as a trampoline. Then we were required to identify the people who served as springs and legs – those who held up or supported our trampoline.
If I remember right, he had us draw a box as our trampoline, and then draw “supports” off each side of it, something like this:
Then we were required to write the names of people who supported us, encouraged us in significant ways, around each side of the trampoline.
These were the people who held up the trampoline that was our life.
Anyone knows who has ever bounced on a trampoline, that it needs quite a few springs to work well. In fact, one could say, the more springs the better.
The point was quickly clear to me, and, I assume, to the rest of the class. To grow up well, or to live healthy as a person, one ought to have a support system holding up one’s trampoline.
This particular youth, the one who ran away, has quite a few people holding the trampoline up.
Of course, part of adolescence is that it seems increasingly difficult, as one tries to find one’s own identity, to maintain those ties, to accept the support of others.
I not only invite you to pray for this young person, but I ask you also: who is holding up your trampoline?
And, finally: whose trampoline are you holding up?